The Robotics Institute – The Pros at University of Michigan Robotics


University of Michigan Robotics

The robotics Institute at the University of Michigan is the number two ranked robotics school in the United States with state-of-the-art facilities and plenty of innovation.

The University of Michigan has dozens of robotics faculty that have years of experience and significant expertise in robotics maneuverability, manipulation, communication, pattern recognition and other important factors. Their belief is that robots are made to work alongside human and they are working diligently to bring that vision to life.

University of Michigan boast one of the top traditional engineering schools is also equipped to add a broad line of robotics engineering disciplines such as artificial intelligence, electrical engineering, computer visions, human robot interaction and much more.

According to the director, U of Michigan robotics is about three words. Algorithms in Motion. At the core, this is certainly what a robot is and they are right on target on understanding the fundamentals of robotics and human interaction.

Here is an introductory video to summarize University of Michigan robotics.

Just like other top schools in the nation that are building up their robotics innovation infrastructure, the University of Michigan is working on a 140,000 square foot robotics facility. Officials have broke ground for the construction in 2018 and is expecting the building to be completed by early 2020. The $75 Million facility is built in conjunction with the Ford Motor Company and will house classrooms, startup style open collaboration area, offices for faculty and tailored lab space for various robotics experiments. 

The Ford Motor Company Robotics Building will have a three-story fly zone for autonomous drones, an outdoor obstacle course for walking robots (and hopefully humans as well because it would be fun to race robots) and a garage bay for self-driving cars.

You would think that Ford only builds cars but they are also well aware on the importance of robotics and built DIGIT– a friendly robot that can work collaboratively with self-driving vehicles and deliver packages to your door. Ford collaborated with Agility Robotics on this project. 

Side note….

Funny how Digit avoids the scooter on the ground – here in Los Angeles, we have a lot of these scooters just littered on the sidewalks.

Back to University of Michigan Robotics.

The school offers robotics program in three main areas:

Sensing: which is sensing the environment and external agents to product input and determine state of information.

Reasoning:  Using algorithms to make decisions based on some form of input from the sensors.

Action: Causing the robot to perform some form of physical motion or output based on the analysis and decision made from the sensors.

At the core, this is what robot and autonomous machines do. They collect data, analyze the data and make some form of decision based on human guidance and then later perform a task based on the decisions.

This is why the human in an integral part in designing robots that have integrity, make decisions and perform tasks that are beneficial to humans. We can learn from science fiction writer Isaac Asimov Three laws of robotics.

Michigan State Robotics enable their students to join teams aligned with their interests. Here are a few teams and clubs you can join at university of Michigan Robotics and Engineering.

UM: Autonomy

They build autonomous boalts each year to participate in RoboNation Roboboat competition. In 2018, the UM team finished 7th in the competiion and 3rd among American Universities! Congratulations!


Michigan Mars Rover Team mission is to design an build a rover to explore extraterrestrial environments. Their goal as a team is to WIN the annual Unveristy Rover Challenge (URC) at the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah. SpaceX would be wise to pay attention here.


Dedicated to to promoting opportunities for Aerospace Students to apply aerospace knowledge outside the classroom, MFLY is a society of automotive engineers aerospace (SAE) and International association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems (AUVSI).


MAAV strives to be the premier autonomous aeriel vehicle organization at the University of Michigan. They compete in  International Aerial Robotics Competition and memebrs can gain experience and apply skills in computer vision, aerial mapping, robotics navigation and control theory.

 University  of Michigan has  a proven track record of attracting the brightest thinkers and creative people in the nation. If you are interested, there will be no doubt on the benefits of joining this top of the line school to pursue your passion and gain skills in robotics to be prepared for the future.

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