Automation and Robotics: We are primarily interested in creating collaborative autonomous robots for construction, assembly, and maintenance of civil infrastructure. Our research specifically focuses on finding solutions to the robot localization, pose estimation, and scene understanding problems in unstructured and evolving environments.  Our group is part of the Michigan Robotics Institute and also collaborates with the Digital Fabrication Laboratory in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The graphic below describes our ongoing research in robotics. Additional areas of research interest are also described below.


Augmented RealityWe are primarily interested in developing georeferenced augmented reality solutions for civil engineering problems. Our research has specifically focused on studying the augmented reality registration, occlusion, and animation problems in both indoor and outdoor environments, as well as building mobile augmented reality hardware platforms. We have also created several open source software libraries for rapid development of augmented reality applications. MORE


Visual Simulation: We are primarily interested in developing visualization tools for animating the performance of construction activities at the operations level of detail. Our research has specifically focused on finding solutions to the terrain modeling, equipment kinematics, product modeling, and graphical animation problems in the context of construction visual simulation. We have also created several software programs for visualizing processes simulated using discrete-event simulation.


Real-Time Visualization: We are primarily interested in developing real-time applications for monitoring visibility-constrained construction processes. Our research specifically focuses on enabling real-time visualization, which involves concurrently representing an ongoing construction operation inside a 3D virtual world so that proximity and potential collision between equipment and infrastructure can be monitored. Our group collaborates with the DTE Energy CompanyMiss Dig System, as well as the Sensing and Perception Systems group at NIST.  We are also interested in studying the applicability of context-aware mobile computing for the inspection, operation, and maintenance of civil infrastructure systems such as highway bridges and commercial buildings. Our research specifically focuses on mobile user localization in indoor and outdoor environments, dynamic spatial context interpretation, and visualization of building and bridge information models on mobile devices. Our group collaborates with the Michigan Department of TransportationUM AEC, as well as the Sensing and Perception Systems group at NIST.


Our research has been supported by grants and contracts made by the following organizations.