• A robot on a grassy field of small hills

    Tackling terrain

    A walking robot braves the Wave Field, an art installation turned obstacle course.

  • A man kneels behind a short two-legged robot.

    Recovering mechanical energy

    Practical walking robots will need to handle energy more efficiently.

  • A professor and student observe a drone in a wind tunnel

    Robots that fly

    UAV, UAS, drones, whatever name you prefer, Michigan Robotics faculty are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight.

  • Professor and student in conversation, with small robot in foreground.

    Cooperative robotics

    To enable autonomous vehicles and other robots that work in teams, communication is essential.


Michigan Robotics aims to accelerate the development of new robotics capabilities by bringing together roboticists of all stripes under one roof so that they can share problems and solutions. Core robotics faculty will be housed in a $75 million facility with shared collaboration and laboratory space, to be completed in 2020. They will work closely with interdisciplinary robotics researchers from across the University.

Michigan Robotics is currently seeking new faculty. We want the top robotics talent on the planet to apply to our program »

The first director of Michigan Robotics is Jessy Grizzle, the Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor and the Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering, best known for his bipedal robots, MABEL and MARLO.

Full Spectrum Autonomy

Autonomy is about handling the unknown. Robots need to be able to navigate and map new environments, manipulate unfamiliar objects, cope with unforeseen circumstances, and carry on in spite of malfunctions. We attack the problem from all angles, an approach we call full spectrum autonomy.

The faculty at Michigan Robotics cover the heart of robotics, including mechanics, electronics, perception, control and navigation. Whether our robots walk, swim, fly or drive, we struggle with many of the same challenges. In the new robotics building, solutions may be just a few doors down.

Educating the Next Robotics Leaders

Three students and a quadrotor drone.
Building new functionality into a drone during a lab course.

The robotics program at Michigan offers MS and PhD engineering degrees that integrate knowledge from across a range of technical fields for applications to robotics. This program focuses on three core disciplines essential to robotics:

  • Sensing of the environment, external agents, and internal body information to determine state information
  • Reasoning to make decisions for guidance, control, and localization
  • Acting upon the body and environment to produce motion or other outputs that enable the robot to locomote or interact with the environment

Learn more about graduate programs in robotics »