Achieving great success in these three challenges, UDM captured the Lescoe Grand Award along with its best showing at the IGVC since 1996. 

Name: University of Detroit Mercy

Age: 130 years

Birthday: 1877, Detroit MI

Founding Order: Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

Colleges: Engineering & Science, Health Professions, Liberal Arts & Education, Architecture, Business, Law, Dental

Favorite Colors:

Red, White, Blue:


What this is all about...

Every year, at UDM, electrical and mechanical engineering upperclassmen are provided with the opportunity to participate in a capstone design course that spans two semesters.  The objective of the course is to provide those students with an engineering design experience that is comparable to the projects they would encounter within the engineering industry.   Involvement in the course does more than just expand the students’ technical knowledge.  It is expected that participation in the design experience will also enhance the students’ communication skills (written, oral, and visual), interpersonal skills, and ability to plan, organize, and manage a comprehensive design effort.  Students successfully completing this design sequence should thus be better prepared to be active, contributing members of the ever-growing engineering profession and community upon graduation.

For 2007, a team of senior and graduate electrical engineering students met the objective of the capstone design course by working tirelessly in UDM’s Advanced Mobility Lab to collaboratively construct a vehicle named Capacitops that competed in the 2007 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC—  At this international competition, Capacitops captured 3rd place out of 37 schools by achieving excellent performance results in the competition’s three main challenges.

Autonomous Challenge:

In the Autonomous Challenge, vehicles must maneuver their way through a complex obstacle course in the shortest time possible.  This year, UDM and Capacitops won 3rd place in the challenge!


About UDM and the IGVC

Design Challenge:

In the Design Competition, teams must relay the conceptual design of their vehicles and components, along with the design strategies and processes that were followed to develop those vehicles, through a written report and an oral presentation.  With Capacitops’ innovative electrical and software systems, UDM placed 4th out of 18 schools in its design group!

Navigation Challenge:

In the Navigation Challenge, vehicles are required to autonomously navigate themselves towards as many waypoints as they can reach within seven minutes, while avoiding obstacles in their paths.  For 2007, UDM’s Capacitops placed 3rd in the challenge!