Inside Robotics

RGSC End of Semester Celebtration

As a way to celebrate the end end of the semester and the holiday season and take a break from exam studies, RGSC held a White Elephant gift exchange party. Enthusiasm and the holiday spirit were high, and everybody had a relaxing and fun time, as we enjoyed food, socializing, presents, and a lot of laughs. This is likely to become an annual event for the robotics group.
Michigan Robotics students wish you a Happy New Year!

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.









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.