University of Detroit Mercy

About the AML

The Advanced Mobility Laboratory comprises faculty and students working with an advanced array of equipment to develop mobile robot systems at the University of Detroit Mercy.  Both graduate and undergraduate students contribute to the research and development work.  Thus, our work includes autonomous vehicles to compete in the international Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition as well as government and industry sponsored research projects on cooperative robotics, localization and mapping, navigation and path planning and goal selection.


UDM’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has two undergraduate degree programs: the Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and the Bachelors in Robotics and Mechatronic Systems Engineering.  Both have curricula that integrates a series of progressively more sophisticated projects throughout the program. Enquiry-based learning enables students to see how concepts work together—as they would in the “real world.”  This emphasis on hands-on projects includes a series of courses where students can work on sensors, embedded processors, control systems, and electronics.  The curriculum culminate in a comprehensive year-long design sequence which enables students to participate in the development of an Aunonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV) for entry in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC).

Our IGVC participation has provided over 15 years of accumulated experience in mobile robotics research. UDM’s IGVC entries have demonstrated gradual and steady improvements over this period, and have most recently earned  two 3rd place and three first place (grand award) finishes as well as multiple first and second place finishes in indivicual events (2006-13). 


Both doctoral and masters students are members of the AML graduate research team and they undertake research covering a broad variety of topics relevant to mobile robotics, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), and mobile/sensor wireless network systems.  Funding agencies include TARDEC, MDOT, DOT, Denso, Chrysler and Ford.

Current research topics include some of the following:

  1. -Practical implementation and development of mobile robot, outdoor (unstructured environments) navigation and goal selection algorithms.

  2. -Image processing algorithm development for feature extraction suitable for vision-based localization.

  3. -Development of efficient dynamic and ad-hoc communication networks suitable for cooperative robotics in both structured and unstructured environments.

  4. -Global and Local mapping which combine occupancy grid and topological features for terrain and obstacle representation.

  5. -Design, development, and testing of Intra vehicular passive and intelligent sensor networks.

  6. -Cooperative robotic behavior and information integration

  7. -Condition monitoring and diagnostics for vehicle and environment characterization

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