Ground Robotics Research - History of the GRRC

Established with a few initial projects in 2007, the University of Michigan's Ground Robotics Reliability Center (GRRC) was formally launched with a kickoff event on August 11, 2008, sponsored by the US Army Tank-Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren, MI. In 2011, recognizing the synergies between autonomous ground vehicles and mobile robotic technologies, the GRRC was merged into the Automotive Research Center (ARC).

The GRRC had three goals. The primary goal was to perform research to support reliable performance and operation of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). Second was to educate students in reliable design and operation of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) through research, curriculum, and outreach, and finally, through disseminating the research and education results, the GRRC aimed to increase the impact and speed of delivering cutting-edge, reliable UGV technology to the warfighter.

GRRC Research AreasGRRC Research AreasIn the Fall of 2009, the University of Michigan launched a new interdisciplinary Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program in Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles (link). University of Michigan students from the GRRC participated as mentors for FIRST robotics teams, visited the Michigan Engineering Zone in Detroit, became SMART fellows, and spent summers interning at TARDEC.

The University of Michigan led the GRRC, with Professors A. Galip Ulsoy and Dawn Tilbury serving as Director. Lawrence Tech, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech University, Oakland University, University of Detroit-Mercy, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Wayne State University also participated in the GRRC, and iRobot was an industry member.

Research at the GRRC was organized into four research areas: Behavior Reliability, Power and Mobility, Design and Control for Reliability, and Testing, Integration and Validation, and comprized of about twenty different projects led by fifteen faculty, including Atkins, Baveja, Borenstein, Durfee, Filipi, Jin, Laird, Olson, Peng, Tilbury and Ulsoy at the University of Michigan.

Precision indoor tracking technology developed at the GRRC by Professor Borenstein was demonstrated at the 2010 Robotics Rodeo at Ft. Hood, and Team Michigan led by Professor Olson won the MAGIC 2010 competition in Australia.

GRRC Publications (link)