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The University of Michigan (UM, U-M, U of M, or UMich), often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan's oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or the University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the flagship university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (780 acres; 3.2 km2) spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.
Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States with annual research expenditures approaching $1.5 billion, Michigan is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". As of October 2019, 51 MacArthur "genius award" winners ( 28 alumni winners and 23 faculty winners), 25 Nobel Prize winners, 6 Turing Award winners and 1 Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the University of Michigan. Its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as well as professional degrees in architecture, business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work, public health, and dentistry. Michigan's body of living alumni comprises more than 540,000 people, one of the largest alumni bases of any university in the world.
Michigan's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference. More than 250 Michigan athletes or coaches have participated in Olympic events, winning more than 150 medals.
Opening in 2020, the Ford Robotics building will become the home of Michigan Robotics. The 140,000-square-foot, four-story complex will house classrooms, offices, a cafe, and a startup-style open collaboration area and tailored lab space for a variety of robotic technologies. A few highlights include:
Three-story fly zone for autonomous aerial vehicles
An outdoor obstacle course for walking robots
High-bay garage space for self-driving cars
A rehabilitation lab with a Stewart platform, force plates, and dual-tread treadmill
A robotics maker space with CNC, 3D printers, soldering irons, and other shop tools
An outdoor Mars Yard with imitation martian rocks and soil for testing rovers
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.
What is its purpose?
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, as they work to build machines that better society.
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