Toyota gives U. Michigan $22M for robotics research

By Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press
August 15th, 2016

The funding is the next step in a move to strengthen private-public efforts

robotics UM

The Toyota Research Institute has committed to giving $22 million to advance research on artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous driving at the University of Michigan.

The money will be spent over four years and the work will be directed by robotics professors Ryan Eustice and Ed Olson, both of whom will retain their part-time faculty positions.

This is the latest step in an emerging private-public effort to establish southeast Michigan and Ann Arbor, the home of the university, as a major hub for development of new modes of mobility and in-home robotics designed to help older citizens.

A year ago, Mcity, a 32-acre simulated city and facility, opened on the university’s north campus, where a variety of automakers, suppliers and telecommunications companies are testing autonomous vehicle systems in a controlled environment.

Toyota, along with General Motors, Ford, Nissan and Honda, is a founding partner in the university’s Mobility Transformation Center, which oversees Mcity.

(Next page: What university officials say about the efforts)

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