SALSA (Strain Analyser for Large Scale engineering Applications) is a novel instrument for strain imaging at the high flux neutron reactor of the Institut Max von Laue – Paul Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France. It is the first of its kind that uses a precise robotic sample stage for sample manipulation. In addition to standard xyz-translation it provides tilts up to ±30° about any horizontal axis. Its load capacity is more than 500 kg and samples up to 1.5 m in length can be scanned with high accuracy. Thanks to a double focusing monochromator and supermirror guide count times are very short. A broad wavelength range, variable beam optics, including radial focusing collimators for high lateral resolution, make it a very flexible instrument for a large variety of strain imaging applications in small and large specimens. The instrument has been commissioned in 2005 and is open for access by a peer review proposal system and as well by industry. The paper describes the important aspects of the instrument and results from the first experiments.