In the feature film Transformers, which opened last week, mechatronic robots from the planet Cybertron invade Earth in search of that which endowed life on them. In the real world, mechatronic robots from the planet Earth invade Mars in search of that which endowed life on us. In both cases, mechatronics--the melding of electronics, mechanics, computers and control engineering--have spawned lifelike robots that can navigate and gather intelligence autonomously. Once dismissed as a fad, mechatronics has fulfilled its promise of smart autonomous electromechanical systems, used both in NASA's Rover, searching for signs of life on Mars, and in the modern car. The latter has been transformed into a vehicle of "robotic manipulators"--from antilock brakes to antiskid control to collision avoidance and, eventually, driverless cars. "You can call us autobots, for short," said Optimus Prime, the "good guy" robot in Transformers. But autobots is also a fitting moniker for the ultimate goal of automotive mechatronics: driverless cars.