Ford and U-M partners in robotics research, a new structure

A two-legged march across the floor of the Ford Motor Co’s Robotics University of Michigan, while the Mini-Cheetah – staccato – does the same in four steps with Cassie with yellow legs deliberately stepping on it.

A grand opening was held on Tuesday for four buildings, USD 75 million, 134,000-square-bart (11,429-square-meter) complex. The three classrooms on the upper floors and research labs are robots that move, move, roll, and enlarge the human body.

Upstairs are Ford’s researchers and engineers and the university’s first robotic research and navigation laboratory.

Together, they will work to develop robots and robots that help improve lives, keep people safe and build a more equitable society, the school and car manufacturer announced on Tuesday.

“As we all drive and use our cars and move on with our daily lives, I’m sure we all have times in our day when we can use little or no help,” said Ken Washington, Ford chief technology officer.

“We will work on drone technology, mobile robots, mobile robots, all kinds of robots at the facility and ways they can improve people’s lives,” Washington said.

“We will also deal with questions and fears about safety and security. The more people see how these robots can communicate with the community and interact with humans, the more comfortable they become with them. ”

Outside Ford Motor Co. Co Robotics Building of the University of Michigan can be seen, March 12, 2021, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo / Carlos Osorio) (AP)

The Ann Arbor campus building includes researchers from 23 buildings and 10 programs in one area. Those who work on two-legged disaster-responding robots can test them on a 30-mph (48-kph) ladder filled with obstacles or on a stairway “robotic playground” designed with the help of artificial intelligence.

“We want them to be able to work in real situations … you get out of the real world where it rolls, shoots,” said Jessy Grizzle, director of the Robotics Institute.

“There are stones. There are big stones. There are holes you can’t see because the grass is cut smooth, and then you want your robots to respond well and stay upright like a human. ”

Dearborn, Ford in Michigan and other car manufacturers are investing billions of dollars in private cars. and robots are expected to play a major role in their development.

Ford announced in February that it was an independent car investment of up to USD 7 billion, from hearing aids to specific research on applications such as Digit, a spokesman said.

In November, Ford unveiled plans to convert the long-established Detroit warehouse into a car dealership. Neighbour Detroit in Corktown is the site of a Ford 740 million USD project to build an environment where new ideas and commodities are developed and developed.

People may one day see a Digit-like robot emerge from a car without a driver, walk across their lawn and leave a packet on the doorstep of their home, according to Washington.

“This is a popular proposal, especially in the post-COVID era where online promises have become quite commonplace,” he said.

“As you envision the future when package delivery will become a part of everyday life, this is a real opportunity for us to pair a robot with a private car to help solve the problem of packet delivery on a scale.”

“It’s not here today, but you can be sure that it will come in the near future,” Washington said.

Researchers working together on the project designed robots for humans, said Alec Gallimore, Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan.

“Robots are not humans and humans are not robots, but we think – collectively – they can be cooperative,” Gallimore said.

“So we built robots to help you. First responders for example. Can we improperly install robots so that no one is there? ”

Ford has donated nearly USD 37 million to the cost of a robotic building with three floors, interior flying to test drones and other private indoor vehicles; a field designed for inclusion from scientists at the university and NASA to test vehicles and ideas for landing on the surface that looks above Mars.

The University of Michigan and Ford are also collaborating with two black history colleges in Atlanta, Morehouse and Spelman, allowing its students to enrol remotely to study driving robots.

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