U-M CSE Graduate Students present papers at ICAPS 2017

CSE graduate students Qi Zhang and Shun Zhang will present exciting research papers at ICAPS 2017, the 27th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, taking place this June at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA.

Here are the papers:

Minimizing Maximum Regret in Commitment Constrained Sequential Decision Making

Approximately-Optimal Queries for Planning in Reward-Uncertain Markov Decision Processes


A Shoutout to Two Michigan PhDs in Robotics

Science RoboticsThe research of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics alum Dr. Alireza Ramezani is featured on the February cover of Science Robotics. Dr. Ramezani defended his dissertation, “Feedback Control Design for MARLO, a 3D-Bipedal Robot,” in 2013. 

The U-M Mathematics Department has awarded Hamed Razavi with the 2016 Sumner B. Myers Prize, which honors the best PhD thesis in mathematics.  No award is made unless a thesis is judged to be truly distinguished:
Hamed Razavi, “Symmetry Method for Limit Cycle Walking of Legged Robots”, co-advised by Tony Bloch (Math) and Jessy Grizzle (EECS).
Michigan Daily 2/5/17 article 

Take another look at robotic locomotion and morphology!

Selecting gaits for economical locomotion of legged robots

This paper explores the benefits of using multiple gaits in a single robot.

Weitao Xi, Yevgeniy Yseilevskiy, C. David Remy
Sage journals


Research on the simultaneous optimization of motion and morphology; comparing different actuators in legged robots:

A comparison of series and parallel elasticity in a Monoped hopper

Optimal configuration of series and parallel elasticity in a 2D Monoped

The video of the comparison:



Open-access Automated Cars Will Advance Driverless Research

New University of Michigan research vehicles will be open testbeds for academic and industry researchers to rapidly test self-driving and connected vehicle technologies at a world-class proving ground – Mcity.   

A roundabout at Mcity.
Mcity, a test site for autonomous vehicles that emulates the urban driving experience, is just half a mile from the Robotics Institute site.

Michigan Engineering article.          

Strolling Among the Fall Colors & MARLO vs Wave Field II – aka “Fall/No Fall”

snapshot-1-11-11-2016-8-43-amResearch has its super intense moments and its pleasures. In the video MARLO vs. Wave Field our intrepid bipedal friend renews an ongoing battle, this time equipped with a new nonlinear control algorithm incorporating machine learning. More recently, MARLO took a stroll near SRB and the Wave Field, with the objective of enjoying the beautiful fall colors.


Robotics Profs Play Their Way to Safer Cars


Image:  Taken from their paper on arXiv, cited in the text.
                                 Image: taken from their paper on arXiv, cited below.

Next time you think some robotics professors are just chillin’ out, you had better look again. They may be exploring the next great idea. Professors Matt Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan used the video game Grand Theft Auto to generate annotated data that was then used to train machine learning algorithms for autonomous driving – and it worked great! You can read more in their paper on the arXiv.

Whirly Ball for Masters!

The Robotics Graduate Student Council held a fun and active evening of Whirly Ball for Masters students in the Robotics program. Using one hand to control the bumper car and the other to throw and catch the ball, the students quickly transitioned from struggling to play to an intense competition. As athletes but still engineers, the conversations during breaks turned to discussions about the mechanisms driving the cars. Overall, the Whirly Ball outing was a great day to relieve stress and bond with other Robotics students.