Michigan, Ford open world-class robotics complex

March 18, 2021

As robots and autonomous systems are poised to become part of our everyday lives, the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Company are opening a one-of-a-kind facility where they’ll develop robots and roboticists that help make lives better, keep people safer and build a more equitable society.

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Taking an exoskeleton from ‘ready, set’ to go

March 5, 2021
Animation of an exoskeleton moving from sitting to standing.
A virtual model of the Wandercraft Atlante exoskeleton moving from sitting to standing position. Courtesy paper.

An exoskeleton user can now go from sitting to standing safely and without assistance based on the work of University of Michigan researchers, who developed a new approach to create and test solutions to such problems virtually.

“We now have a way to systematically design control objectives for highly constrained systems such that the objectives are not in conflict with the contact constraints,” said Eva Mungai, a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering. 

The paper, “Feedback Control Design for Robust Comfortable Sit-to-Stand Motions of 3D Lower-Limb Exoskeletons,” is published in IEEE Access.

Similar research on the sit-to-stand activity is often done with a simplified model due to the complexity that three dimensions introduces. That work focuses on the sagittal plane, the X-axis of the sit-to-stand problem, while Mungai’s work incorporates sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes, or X, Y, and Z-axes.

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Now available: Robotics 101 online

December 22, 2020
Robot standing in lidar waves

A pilot course for an undergraduate robotics curriculum at the University of Michigan, Robotics 101: Computational Linear Algebra, is now available for free online. All lectures, notes, projects, and the textbook can be accessed on GitHub and YouTube.

The course is meant to inspire and welcome students to learn key mathematical concepts that can immediately be applied to hands-on, interesting engineering problems, such as building a map from LiDAR data and balancing a Segway.

“Linear algebra has become the language of computer vision, machine learning, robotics, and autonomy,” said Professor Jessy Grizzle, Director of Michigan Robotics.

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Next steps of the Open Source Leg

October 13, 2020
An open source leg on a table with wires and tools
Alejandro Azocar puts the finishing connections together before testing an open-source robotic leg designed by Elliott Rouse. Photo: Robert Coelius, Michigan Engineering

A new paper on the Open Source Leg, an artificially-intelligent bionic prosthetic leg developed by University of Michigan researchers, was recently published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

The open-source project, launched publicly last year, is meant to ease the research of controls for prostheses by offering an accessible, comparable, and universal platform available to a broad array of scientists and engineers.

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