The control problem of the cooperative motion of a two-link dual arm robot during handling and transportation of an object was studied in this paper. Since these types of robots are frequently preferred for hazardous applications such as transportation of radioactive materials and disposal of explosives, a robust non-chattering sliding mode controller (SMC) improved by a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) fuzzy logic unit was applied to the robot to track the desired trajectory with high accuracy and transport the load safely. In order to assess the performance of the proposed MIMO fuzzy sliding mode controller (MIMO-FSMC) in presence of parameter variations and external disturbances, a sudden load variation and noise were introduced to the robot system. If compared with classical SMC, tracking errors with smaller magnitudes and faster convergence to zero were obtained by using the proposed MIMO-FSMC. Numerical results suggest that this type of control method may safely be used for cooperative motion control of dual arm robots in load handling and transport applications in hazardous environments with high accuracy. (C) 2011 The Franklin Institute. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.