Ford robotics building

The collaboration offers insight into facility planning and industry partnership models that are emerging to support artificial intelligence AI and robotics innovation, recruit top talent, and prepare new graduates with the skills needed to thrive in this burgeoning industry.

In addition, visitors to the new building may witness robots roaming freely on all floors and even calling the elevators themselves. The M-Air Outdoor Test Facility provides 9, sf of drone research space, enclosed in four-story netted exterior walls that form a fly zone.

Located adjacent to the new Ford Robotics Building, M-Air opened in and is used specifically to test autonomous aerial vehicles. Just down the street from M-Air and the Ford Robotics Building is the Mcity Test Facility, a acre site featuring 16 acres of roads and traffic infrastructure, creating a small-scale urban and suburban environment. Finally, across the street from the new Ford Robotics Building, is the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, where faculty and students research new robotics technology to navigate, communicate, map, and analyze in underwater environments.

To enable this research, the Marine Hydrodynamics Lab offers a wave and modeling tank over meters long. A new naval robotics building is in the planning stage for this department. In addition to the autonomous testing facilities, other key infrastructure features of the new Ford Robotics Building include: 10 labs wired for 10 gigabytes-per-second Ethernet, and infrastructure that will allow them to go to gigabytes per second for future needs; a high bay garage for testing self-driving vehicles; open collaboration areas; an outdoor obstacle course with multiple surfaces; an indoor three-story flying and walking lab; and a Rehab Robotics lab focused on analyzing human gait for robotics used in physical rehabilitation.

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The research performed through this alliance contributes significantly to the goal of making mobility safer and smarter through autonomy. And the partnership manifests itself in people, too. During the academic year alone, Ford hired students and alumni for internships or full-time positions. This building strengthens that relationship and marks the first time that Ford engineers will have a permanent presence on campus. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor of Engineering. In particular, U-M student teams will really benefit from having them in the building.

Ford's new robots can build cars, make coffee

Mero concludes that although public-private partnerships require careful consideration and planning with an added stakeholder, they enable deeper investments in advanced research facilities, resulting in successes such as the Ford Robotics Building.

In consideration of similar projects, she points to three key strategies:. Identify your stakeholders early and keep checking back to make sure they are all still in alignment throughout the project. Ensuring that all partners who have a seat at the table can help anticipate and address new ideas and challenges as they arise. Skip to main content. M-Air is constructed of structural steel poles and horizontal members supporting a netted envelope.

It has natural grass as the ground cover and includes a small pavilion for users to access computers or hold informal conferences. Photo by Dan Newman, Michigan Robotics. Photo by Austin Thomason, University of Michigan.

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An open-source connected and automated vehicle, the Lincoln is available to U-M faculty and students conducting research at Mcity, which is located near the new Ford Robotics Building. Photo by Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering.Plans include a three-story fly zone for autonomous aerial vehicles, an outdoor obstacle course for walking robots, high-bay garage space for self-driving cars, and dedicated space for rehabilitation and mobility robots such as prosthetics and exoskeletons.

This will be an unprecedented working environment. The one thing the program never had, she said, was a place to call its own, gaining some rooms in the basement of the Space Research building.

The new lab, she said, will more than adequately address those needs for robotics students going forward. Most importantly, robotics students will finally have a home here on North Campus. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. All rights reserved About Us. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.

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Support news reporting you can trust. Subscribe to MLive. By Martin Slagter mslagter mlive.At Ford's factory in CologneGermany, a new kind of robot is sitting by the assembly line helping manufacture the legendary automaker's cars.

But these collaborative robots, or co-bots, aren't replacing their human counterparts at this Ford Fiesta plant. Instead, they're working side by side with 4, Ford factory workers, and not for them. For decades the auto industry has led the way in using robots in their factories, a trend that continues today. These robots are the traditional industrial robots, colossal machines that pose a safety risk to humans and therefore need to be fenced in to protect workers as they complete their tasks.

These machines do things like attach doors, apply paint and load engines.

ford robotics building

Automation is necessary for safety, quality and productivity. Sincevehicle production in the United States has increased by an average of about 16 percent annually because of industrial robots, according to Bastian Solutions. One recent study in the UK, which analyzed the use of industrial robots over a year period across manufacturing industries in countries, including the United States, found that labor productivity grew each year.

Recently, however, car companies have begun shifting tactics. Unlike their bulkier brethren, co-bots are smaller robots — think of the Germany-based Kuka Robotics' "arm" robot or the Baxter robot made by Boston-based Rethink Robotics — sometimes no more than 3 feet tall.

They're designed to work with humans, not for humans. At Ford's factory in Germany, where Kuka-built robots were installed at two workstations, co-bots are assisting factory-floor workers to fit shock absorbers into the wheel arches of Ford Fiesta cars. They're a harbinger of what's now happening at car companies: assigning mundane or physically exerting tasks, such as material handling or welding, to robotic workers, which free up human employees to think about how to personalize and customize cars for customers, something consumers are increasingly demanding.

Manufacturing precisely configured vehicles where customers choose details like the trim of the dash or the caps of tire valves is not a task for large industrial robots, which have trouble adapting to an age of mass customization in part because they constantly have to be reprogrammed. Market analysts at Barclays predict the co-bot industry is poised for rapid growth. Automakers are leading the way in the adoption of co-bots, which they say are more cost-effective than industrial robots.

Automakers also prefer the flexibility that comes with co-bots, which don't need to be in a fixed factory location caged in or cordoned off and therefore can be rolled around to different parts of the factory. Car companies say they're also safer for human workers, in large part due to sensors that detect when fingers or a hand is in the way. Some co-bots also have "deep learning" capabilities through artificial intelligence, which allow them to figure out their tasks while on the job instead of being programmed beforehand.

Jeff Burnstein, president of the Robotic Industries Association in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says the potential upsides of integrating co-bots on the factory floor are the reason auto companies are giving them a hard look. Still, it's the early days of collaborative robotics. But the concern from the manufacturing sector is that robots of any kind are coming to replace jobs — something with which the auto industry is quite familiar. Sincemore thanauto-manufacturing jobs have been lost in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It is required to maintain the level of productivity and quality demanded by manufacturing today. At Mercedes-Benz, robots have started being replaced by humans ; the German company says human dexterity is required as the company moves toward customization by offering more options to consumers, like heated or cooled cup holders. At several of its factories in Japan, Toyota is replacing industrial robots with humans as well, to make sure its factory workers are skilled employees who can figure out how to make car production more efficient.The Ford Motor Company Robotics Building is a new national centerpiece in robotics research, learning, and collaboration.

Opening in earlythe Ford Robotics building will become the home of Michigan Robotics. The ,square-foot, four-story complex will house classrooms, offices, a startup-style open collaboration area and tailored lab space for a variety of robotic technologies. The building will include a three-story fly zone for autonomous aerial vehicles, an outdoor obstacle course for walking robots, high-bay garage space for self-driving cars, and dedicated space for rehabilitation and mobility robots such as prosthetics and exoskeletons.

And in a unique agreement, Ford will lease the fourth floor to perform robotics research and engineering in collaboration with U-M and other industry leaders. The Ford Robotics Building brings all parts of the robotics enterprise together for real-world results.

The new building is designed to promote collaborative work across disciplines, involving students and faculty at all levels, from a variety of fields.

It will also promote collaboration with external partners, including the Ford Motor Company, which will have a permanent presence on site. It has spaces for teaching, experimentation, and testing, in purpose-built bays and laboratories that represent the state of the art. These facilities will support a particularly distinctive characteristic of Michigan Robotics: its focus on hardware as well as software.

Michigan Robotics emphasizes making real robots. Many roboticists specialize in simulations, but implementing a real machine in the real world poses real challenges.

These new spaces will enable Michigan roboticists to take full advantage of their hands-on orientation in research and teaching. Among the many facilities open to Michigan Robotics students, faculty, and researchers, several provide unique opportunities to develop technologies safely, nimbly, and creatively. Courtesy UM::Autonomy. What is its purpose? Related links Groundbreaking Live webcam of construction.This page is for personal, non-commercial use.

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ford robotics building

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University of Michigan breaks ground on Ford Robotics Building

Thanks for that. And thanks for reading Autoblog. You still haven't turned off your adblocker or whitelisted our site. It only takes a few seconds. Ford's new robots can build cars, make coffee Three-foot-tall helpers could change how assembly lines work. Joel Stocksdale. Share 0 Comments. Ford Motor Company announced today its early testing of a new type of assembly line robot that were co-developed with German robotics company KUKA Roboter GmbH with the intention of assisting human line workers.

Two of these three-foot-tall machines are in use at the Cologne, Germany factory, where they assist human workers to install shock absorbers on Ford Fiestas. These workers would have originally had to juggle the shocks and tools to install them, but now the robot helps them position and install the parts.

ford robotics building

The robots feature technology that senses where the person is and will stay close by for assistance. This also allows them to make sure they don't maneuver in such a way that could injure the person. In addition to heavy lifting, Ford notes the robots can even be programmed to make coffee as well as other delicate tasks.

Ford also explains that these robots can lead to safer, faster and higher quality vehicle assembly, as well as making the process easier for employees. Although the robots are only in use at the Cologne factory, they may end up in other locations in the near future. According to Kelli Felker, Ford's manufacturing and labor communications manager, the company is also looking at how they could be implemented at North American factories.According to the university, robots will fly, walk, drive and help enhance or rehabilitate human function starting in early Plans for the facility include an outdoor obstacle course for mobile robots, a three-story fly zone for autonomous drones, a space for mobility and rehabilitation robots, such as exoskeletons and prosthetics, and a high-bay garage for autonomous vehicles.

The fourth floor will be leased by Ford to conduct robotics engineering and research in collaboration with the university and other industry leaders.

I'm proud that this facility will lead to even greater accomplishments in education, research and societal impact from Michigan Engineering," he said. Gallimore, professor of both aerospace engineering and applied physics. In tandem with M-Air across the street, Mcity down the road and the Friedman Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory across campus, this university is the only academic institution that can boast test facilities for robots on land, in air, in water and in space," he said.

In addition to the groundbreaking, the college is launching the Robotics Institute, which will be housed in the building. This building will bring them together.

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It will inspire bold ideas. And its advanced labs will provide the space to make those dreams real," he said. Photo: University of Michigan.

Man and machine: The new collaborative workplace of the future

Learn more about U-M robotics here. All About Ann Arbor.Ford has also previously agreed to establish an on-campus research laboratory on the fourth floor of the new building. The U-M Board of Regents approved the naming today. The board approved the lease for the fourth floor laboratory last September. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. Ford and U-M have a long partnership. The company is the single largest corporate donor to the university, supporting more than 50 units across the university over the course of the decades-long partnership.

ford robotics building

The Ford Motor Company Robotics Building will house classrooms, offices, a startup-style open collaboration area and tailored lab space for a variety of robotic technologies.

Plans include a three-story fly zone for autonomous aerial vehicles, an outdoor obstacle course for walking robots, and high-bay garage space for self-driving cars.

University of Michigan breaks ground on $75M Ford Robotics Building

When the building opens, U-M will become one of an elite few universities with a dedicated robotics facility. The robot interacts with other robots that are installed with cooperative algorithms that Kira Barton and her research group have designed in hopes of providing a model for larger scale implementation of autonomous vehicles and robots.

Industry 4.0 Manufacturing KUKA Robots Building SEAT Cars

The research Ford and U-M performs through this alliance contributes significantly to the goal of making mobility safer and smarter through autonomy, researchers say. U-M is one of the top suppliers of talent to Ford, company officials say. During the academic year alone, Ford hired students and alumni to internships or full-time positions.

Together, we will continue our leadership in advancing mobility. For more information about the campaign, visit the Leaders and Best website.

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