The Ford Motor Company Robotics Building is a new national centerpiece in robotics research, learning, and collaboration.
Opening in early 2020, the Ford Robotics building will become the home of Michigan Robotics. The 140,000-square-foot, four-story complex will house classrooms, offices, a startup-style open collaboration area and tailored lab space for a variety of robotic technologies. The building will include 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.
And in a unique agreement, Ford will lease the fourth floor to perform robotics research and engineering in collaboration with U-M and other industry leaders.
We invite you to experience our new facility through a virtual reality fly-through:
What is its purpose?
The Ford Robotics Building brings all parts of the robotics enterprise together for real-world results.
The new building is designed to promote collaborative work across disciplines, involving students and faculty at all levels, from a variety of fields. It will also promote collaboration with external partners, including the Ford Motor Company, which will have a permanent presence on site. It has spaces for teaching, experimentation, and testing, in purpose-built bays and laboratories that represent the state of the art.
These facilities will support a particularly distinctive characteristic of Michigan Robotics: its focus on hardware as well as software. Michigan Robotics emphasizes making real robots. Many roboticists specialize in simulations, but implementing a real machine in the real world poses real challenges. These new spaces will enable Michigan roboticists to take full advantage of their hands-on orientation in research and teaching.
Among the many facilities open to Michigan Robotics students, faculty, and researchers, several provide unique opportunities to develop technologies safely, nimbly, and creatively.
M-Air is a 10,000 sq ft, four-story, netted scientific facility that enables the study of autonomy and collaborative robotics in the “wild,” with emphasis on dealing with the full range of Michigan weather, -30C to 38C, with rain, sleet, wind, and snow.
Mcity is a public-private partnership that operates the world’s first purpose-built proving ground for testing the performance and safety of connected and automated vehicles and technologies under controlled and realistic conditions, all on the Michigan campus.