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


Name: University of Detroit Mercy

Age: 133 years

Birthday: 1877, Detroit MI

Founding Order: Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and Sisters of Mercy

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 2010, a team comprising seniors 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 CERBERUS that competed in the 2010 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC—  At this international competition, CERBERUS captured 1st place in the Autonomous Challenge, Navigation Challenge, and JAUS Challenge which contributed to winning the overall first place Lescoe Grand Award.

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 CERBERUS won 1st 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. 

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 2008, UDM’s µCeratops placed 1st in the challenge!

Year             Challenge         Placement

2010 (CERBERUS)        Navigation                      1st

                                          Design                             ???

                                          Autonomous                 1st

                                          JAUS                                1st

                                                    Lescoe Cup: 1st

2009 (THOR PRO)        Navigation                      2nd

                                          Design                             6th

                                          Autonomous                 2nd

                                          JAUS                                completion    

                                                    Lescoe Cup: 1st

2008 (µCeratops)        Navigation                      1st

                                          Design                             3rd

                                          Autonomous                 4th    

                                                    Lescoe Cup: 1st

2007 (Capacitops)       Autonomous                 3rd

                                        Design                             4th (in design group)

                                        Navigation                      3rd

            Lescoe Grand Award: 3rd

2006 (Thor)               Autonomous                3rd

                                        Design                            5th (in design group)

                                        Navigation                     3rd

             Lescoe Grand Award: 3rd

2005 (Hephaestus)       Design                             7th (in design group)

2005 (Warrior)             Autonomous                 6th

                                        Design                             8th (in design group)

2001 (The Beast)      Autonomous                   9th

                                        Design                             7th

1999 (WHY 2K)             Design                             3rd

JAUS Challenge:

In the JAUS Challenge, vehicles are required to implement the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) protocol whose purpose is to enable the development of inter-operable robotic components and vehicles.  At the IGVC the JAUS challenge requires that a robot communicate wirelessly, implement the JAUS communication  standard and allow remote control of the Robot.  In particular, 4 navigation waypoints are sent to the robot along with motion commands.  The robot is then timed for overall performance.  For 2010, UDM’s CERBERUS placed 1st in the challenge!