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Ford is partnering with UM on robotics research for the new building

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ANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) – The digit walks on two legs Ford Motor Co. of the University of Michigan. Robotics on the floor of the building, and the Mini-Cheetah – like a staccato – do the same with four yellow legs on the Cassie stairs. deliberately side by side.

A grand opening for the $ 75 million $ 75 million 134,000-square-foot (11,429-square-foot) complex took place on Tuesday. On three floors there are classrooms, research laboratories for robots that fly, walk, roll, enlarge the human body.

On the top floor are Ford researchers and engineers և the automaker առաջին’s first robotics և mobility research laboratory at the university.

Together they will work to create robots, robotics experts, to help make life better, keep people safer, and build a more just society.

“When we all drive, use our cars, go about our daily lives, I’m sure we all have moments in our day when we can use a little help or a little help,” said Ken Washington, Ford of Ford Chief Technology Officer.

“We are going to work on drone technology, walking robots, robot robots, all kinds of robots, the ways in which they can improve people’s lives,” he added. “And we will do it in a way that resolves security issues and fears. The more people see how these robots can interact with society, interact with humans, the more comfortable they will be with them. ”

The university building at Ann Arbor University combines 23 buildings with հետազոտ 10 study space researchers. Those working on two-stage disaster-responsive robots can test them on a 30-mile / hr obstacle course or a step-by-step “robot playground” designed with artificial intelligence.

Biomedical engineers are looking at lighter, more durable foot prostheses. Ford engineers are studying how vertical Digit robots can work in human areas.

“We want them to be able to operate in real-world situations … you go out into the real world, where branches are rolling,” said Essie Grizzly, director of the Robotics Institute. “There are rocks there. There are stones. “There are holes you can’t see because the grass is cut. Then you want your robots to respond well and stay upright, just like humans do.”

Dearborn, Ford, Michigan, and other automakers are investing billions of dollars in autonomous vehicles. ռ Robotics is expected to play a major role in their development. Ford announced in February that it was investing $ 7 billion in autonomous vehicles, ranging from sensory systems to applied research such as Digit.

In November, Ford announced plans to open a bookstore in Detroit to open an automotive innovation center. Detroit’s Corktown is the site of a $ 740 million Ford project to create a space where new transportation, mobility ideas are being developed.

According to Washington, one day people may see a robot like Digit get out of a car without a driver, walk around their lawn and leave a package at the door of their neighbors’ houses.

“This is an exciting proposition, especially in the post-election COVID era, when the promise of online shopping has become the norm,” he said. “When you think about the future, when package delivery will enter everyday life, this is a real opportunity for us to pair the robot with an autonomous machine to help solve the package delivery problem on a large scale.”

“It’s not here today, but you can be sure it will be in the not-too-distant future,” he said.

Researchers working together on the building are designing robots for humans, said Alex Galimor, dean of engineering at the University of Michigan.

“Robots are not humans, humans are not robots, but we believe that together there can be synergy,” said Galimor. “So we’re designing robots that are going to help you. For example, the first respondents. Can we endanger the robots so that we do not have to have people there? ”

Ford has invested about $ 37 million in the cost of a robotics building that also has a three-story enclosed space for testing drones and other autonomous drones inside. A space designed by NASA scientists to test and land cars on a landscape that mimics the surface of Mars.

The University of Michigan and Ford are also collaborating with two historic colleges in Atlanta, Morhaus and Spelman, to enable students to enroll in distance learning robotics pilot courses.

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