Inside Robotics

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.









PhD Student Mia Stevens presents at launch of new Grad Colloquium Series

Thursday, October 13 from 12 – 1:30pm in EECS 1303: Mia Stevens will present her work on Geofence Guidance for Small UAS. This is the first in a series featuring the excellent work of students being presented to fellow students, offering a great opportunity to receive feedback as well as learn of the work of fellow students/groups. The series also provides presentation practice for conferences and other venues. A total of five seminars are planned for this semester. Food will be provided!


Robotics Scientist Snags Research Award

Assistant Research Scientist Tulga Ersal has been selected to receive the 2016 UMOR Research Faculty Recognition Award.

The Researctulga-ersal-2016h Faculty Recognition Award recognizes a Research Assistant Professor or Assistant Research Scientist for exceptional scholarly achievements, as evidenced by publications and/or other scholarly activities in any academic field of study.  Dr. Ersal has been selected for this award due to his contributions to the field of system dynamics and control, with applications including autonomous vehicles.


Robots beware: we will detect your anomalies!


Professor Necmiye Ozay has been awarded the NASA Early CAREER Faculty award, which enables Professor Ozay and her team to develop “Run-time anomaly detection and mitigation in information-rich cyber-physical systems.” The crowning application will be an exploration problem involving humans and robots.

More information here.


Saturday Morning Physics: Dynamic Locomotion in Humans, Animals, and Robots

What has the IKEA furniture showroom to do with legged robots? More than you would think. 

Watch as Professor C. David Remy takes a lighthearted look at the fundamentals of legged locomotion and what roboticists can learn from animals and humans. The Saturday Morning Physics lecture series of the University of Michigan Department of Physics provides an opportunity to hear scientists discuss their work in fun, easy-to-understand and non-technical terms.  Prof. Remy’s lecture is one of the most well-received lectures and has already been watched by over 1500 people.