UM Opens Ford Motors Robotics Lab

Kyle Johnson

UM Ford Motor Company robotics building exteriorThe University of Michigan opened their Ford Motor Company Robotics Building
Photo: Ford

Earlier this month, the University of Michigan officially opened its four-story Ford Motor Company robotics building, valued at $ 75 million. The 134,000 square foot complex is located on the north side of the campus and offers advanced facilities and tools for students, Ford researchers and engineers.

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The Ford Motor Company Robotics Building, first announced in 2017, is the central hub of the UM Robotics Institute. It houses three floors of robotics labs, classrooms, and makerspaces that are open to students. In this way, the Robotics Institute can bring together experts from 23 buildings to develop robots for a variety of applications.

The building’s features include a three-story flight zone where drones and other autonomous aircraft are tested in conjunction with the M-Air research facility. The complex also includes a “Marshof” that simulates the surface of the red planet so that researchers and teams can test concept vehicles destined for space exploration.

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UM Ford Motor Company robotics building Five of the robots Ford will test will be tested on the fourth floor
Photo: Ford

According to the agreement with its long-term partner, there is a Ford research laboratory for robotics and mobility on the fourth floor that supports up to 100 employees. From this facility, Ford researchers will test robot innovations such as the two-legged Digit and the four-legged Spot robots. Ford will continue to use the University of Michigan’s Mcity Proving Grounds to test autonomous vehicles.

“As Ford continues the most profound change in our history with electrification, connectivity and automation, further developing our collaboration with the University of Michigan will enable us to accelerate the superior experience for our customers while modernizing our business,” said Ken Washington, chief technology officer from Ford.

Atrium of the UM Ford Motor Company Robotics BuildingFord Motor Company’s robotics building feels open and airy
Photo: Ford

The Ford Motor Company Robotics Building is also a beautiful sight. It has an open atrium with clear sight lines to laboratories with glass walls. The facility will also include classrooms that support hybrid remote / in-person learning so that students from historically black institutions in Atlanta can take the UM Robotics 101 course.

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Kyle S. Johnson lives in Cincinnati, a city known by many as “Cincinnati in Southwest Ohio”. He likes professional wrestling, Halloween and other things. He’s been writing for a while and plans to continue writing in the future. More articles from Kyle.

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