Robotics Day: Sen. Levin, demos, and a talk on self-driving cars

April 4, 2012


DATE: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., April 9, 2012.

EVENT: Self-driving cars, smart wheelchairs and a remote-controlled Segway that’s mapping campus in four dimensions are a few of the latest robotic systems that will be discussed or demonstrated at Robotics Day 2012. The event will showcase cutting-edge robotics research going on at the University of Michigan, at other Michigan universities and in government and industry.

Speakers include:

  • U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich, at 9:10 a.m.
  • Lawrence Burns, former GM vice president and current U-M professor of engineering practice, at 3:30 p.m. At this keynote talk, Reinventing the Automobile, Burns will outline his vision for how robotic taxis could transform transportation. Find out more at
  • Jim Overholt, chief scientist for robotics at the U.S. Army, at 9:20 a.m.

Demonstrations of U-M research include:

  • A remote-controlled Segway robot that’s mapping North Campus in four dimensions. Watch a demonstration video at
  • An intelligent wheelchair designed to navigate planned routes as well as detect and avoid obstacles.
  • A smart swarm of unmanned, four-wheeled bots that won an international urban reconnaissance contest in 2010.
  • An autonomous quadrotor helicopter-type aircraft. Watch a video about U-M’s work in robotic aircraft:

Industry and government attendees will also demonstrate. Most demos will take place twice, between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and again between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

PLACE: North Campus Research Complex, Building 18, 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor. A parking structure is across the street. For directions, visit:

SPONSORS: The University of Michigan and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.

RELATED LINKS: For the full agenda, visit:

Robotics at Michigan: