Edwin Olson
Computer Science & Engineering
2260 Hayward St. BBB 3737
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2121 USA
ebolson@umich.edu
734-647-1049

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Edwin Olson

Edwin Olson is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and the University of Michigan. He is the director of the APRIL robotics lab, which studies Autonomy, Perception, Robotics, Interfaces, and Learning. His active research projects include applications to explosive ordinance disposal, search and rescue, multi-robot communication, railway safety, and automobile autonomy and safety.

In 2010, he led the winning team in the MAGIC 2010 competition by developing a team of 14 robots that semi-autonomously explored and mapped a large-scale urban environment. For winning, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded him $750,000. He was named one of Popular Science's "Brilliant Ten" in September, 2012. In 2013, he was awarded a DARPA Young Faculty Award.

He received a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 for his work in robust robot mapping. During his time as a PhD student, he was a core member of their DARPA Urban Challenge Team which finished the race in 4th place. His work on autonomous cars continues in cooperation with Ford Motor Company on the Next Generation Vehicle project.

He is active in the open source software community as one of the original developers of the message-passing system LCM, and the creator of the OrcBoard robotics controller. Much of his current software is available under open source licenses.

Selected Talks (General Audience)


Cool Jobs: Roboticist Edwin Olson. Produced by the World Science Festival.


Meet the Faculty: Edwin Olson. Produced by the U-M Computer Science department.


From MAGIC to Self-Driving Cars. The AUVSI Driverless Car Summit, 2012.