Ford Motor Co. has agreed to lease the fourth floor of the University of Michigan’s new robotics facility. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the $75-million, 140,000-square-foot, four-story complex, named for the automotive giant, were held in April, according to U-M news reports. The new building will consolidate all the robotics research programs on the Ann Arbor campus.
(Image courtesy of UM News)
The Ford Robotics Building will feature a three-story fly zone for autonomous aerial vehicles, an outdoor obstacle course for walking robots, high-bay garage space for self-driving cars and dedicated space for rehabilitation and mobility robots, such as prosthetics and exoskeletons, as well as classrooms and offices. On the fourth floor, Ford Motor Co. will collaborate with faculty and students as well as other industry leaders on robotics research and engineering.
The facility, which is expected to be completed by 2020, will make the U-M one of only a few institutions with a dedicated robotics facility. It will be located on the North Campus, adjacent to the M-Air and Space Research Buildings. M-Air is an outdoor fly lab for testing autonomous aerial vehicles. Mcity is a U-M led public-private facility where researchers can test potentially dangerous scenarios that self-driving cars need to master before going on the road.
“This amazing facility will be home to robots that improve the quality of life by addressing a wide range of societal needs,” reported Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering Alec D. Gallimore. “In tandem with M-Air across the street, Mcity down the road and the Friedman Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory across campus, this university is the only academic institution that can boast test facilities for robots on land, in air, in water and in space.”
Robotics students and faculty are currently housed in 12 different departments and six different schools and colleges on the campus, including engineering, kinesiology and the medical school.
The new facility has also inspired the formation of The Robotics Institute at U-M. Researchers believe robotic technologies, which are advancing in a variety of fields, will lead to the development of robots able to perform tasks not suited for humans and to work safely alongside humans, as well as operate safely and effectively in natural human environments.
“The Robotics Institute is really all about people and this new building will make it possible for the roboticists of today, as well as those of tomorrow, to work together across disciplines in unprecedented ways,” U-M’s inaugural director of robotics Jessy Grizzle stated in the April news report.
U-M and Ford Motor Company have been working together for more than 60 years. The university is one of the top suppliers of talent to the company, while Ford is the single largest corporate donor and sponsor of numerous faculty research projects. The company’s collaboration on autonomous vehicle development with Michigan’s Engineering Department is the largest university research project in the nation.
The university’s robotics program offers MS and PhD engineering degrees that integrate knowledge in a range of technical fields for applications to robotics.
Laboratory equipment suppliers wishing to market their products to the well funded researchers of UM, Ann Arbor should plan on participating in The 18th Annual Bioresearch Product Faire at the University of Michigan held on Thursday, August 9th, 2018. This is an excellent opportunity to meet face to face with life science researchers.
Last year, this event attracted nearly 500 attendees. Of these attendees, 161 were purchasing agents, professors and post docs, and 82 were lab managers.
While in the area, make the most of your marketing dollars by also participating at the Michigan State BioResearch Product Faire on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
For more information call 530-272-6675 or click on the link below to reserve a space and increase your scientific sales in 2018.
Life science professionals are invited to attend the annual on campus tradeshow for free. Click the button below for additional information or to pre-register.