Novel human-machine interface design for providing improved situation awareness for the driver and pedestrian.
Driver assist systems for snowplows operating in white-out conditions.
Autonomous navigation and wayfinding under winter conditions, focused on snow-covered sidewalks.
Developing experiential approaches to educating engineers about the design, control, and programming of robots.
Systems for supporting wayfinding and navigation for people with vision impairment.
Given the challenges of winter in Minnesota, Max Donath has been interested in how the fusion of high-accuracy GNSS and LIDAR facilitates autonomous navigation on snow-covered sidewalks in urban environments. Applications include autonomous navigation for wheelchairs, package delivery vehicle platforms and snow clearing of sidewalks. He and his group are also working on a 3rd generation human-machine interface for providing improved situation awareness for snowplow operators who have to clear roads under white-out conditions. This driver assist system is presently undergoing field operational tests at nine sites across the state.
On the teaching front, he and a team of students have developed an instructional robotics laboratory designed to educate engineers about the design, control, and programming of robot manipulators and cobots.
Learn more about the snowplow driver assist system in this video:
Ph.D. 1978, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology S.M. 1974, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology B. Eng. 1972, Mechanical Engineering, McGill University
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1990-present Director, Roadway Safety Institute, University of Minnesota, 2013-2019 Director, Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute (ITS Institute), University of Minnesota, 1997-2013 Director, Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Design and Control, University of Minnesota, 1992-1997 Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1984-1990 Visiting Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1986-1987 Research Biomedical Engineer, Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Research and Development Center, Palo Alto, CA, 1986-87 Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1978-1984
Scientific & Professional Societies
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
ME 5286: Robotics
Publications & Awards
Honors and Awards
Kathy Swanson Outstanding Service Award, 2014
ITS Minnesota Public Sector Recognition Award, 2009
Richard P. Braun Distinguished Service Award, 2007
George W. Taylor Service Award, 2007
Honored as one of 92 University of Minnesota faculty and alumni (living and deceased) represented on the University’s “Wall of Discovery,” a 253-foot-long ‘artistic tribute to the process that leads to great moments of discovery.’ Unveiled September 29, 2006.
• B. Davis and M. Donath, “Development of a Sensor Platform for High Accuracy Mapping of Roadway Lane Markings,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2551, pp. 45-51, 2016.
• J. I. Creaser, C. J. Edwards, N. L. Morris and M. Donath, “Are cellular phone blocking applications effective for novice teen drivers?” Journal of Safety Research, Volume 54, September 2015.
• L. Phillips, P. Hooge, T. Meier, R. Manning, J. Hallo, R. Mace, T. Morris, J. Hourdos and M. Donath, “An integrated study of road capacity in Denali National Park,”(pp.205-223) in R. Manning, S. Lawson, P. Newman, J. Hallo and C. Monz (ed.), Sustainable Transportation in National Parks, University Press of New England, 2014.
• E. Becic, M.P. Manser, C. Drucker, and M. Donath, “Aging and the Impact of Distraction on an Intersection Crossing Assist System,” Accident Analysis and Prevention, 50, 968-974, 2013.
• E. Becic, M. Manser, J. Creaser, and M. Donath, “Intersection crossing assist system: Transition from a road-side to an in-vehicle system,” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior, 15(5), 544-555, 2012.