Ka C. Cheok, Ph.D.

Ka C. Cheok, Ph.D.

Professor, John Dodge Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
333 EC
(248) 370-2232
Fax: (248) 370-4633


He received the B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Malaya in 1977, and the M.S. Electrical & Computer Engineering & Ph.D. Systems Engineering from Oakland University in 1979 and 1982, respectively. Ka C Cheok joined OU as an assistant professor in 1984. He is currently a full professor of engineering at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Dr. Cheok is active in the research areas of computer-based automated systems involving artificial intelligence and computer visualization. His contributions include the development of heuristics search, fuzzy logic and neural network techniques for guidance of autonomous robotic vehicles, and control of active suspension, automotive traction and tracking systems for the automotive and defense industries. He has published over nine patents, 40 technical journal articles and 100 conference papers.

He is currently working with a local startup company to develop automated breast cancer detection tester that combines robotics, computer vision, IR thermography and AI decision to automatically diagnose patients. He is also assisting with a colleague in the University of Pristina on a mine detection robot that sweeps for anti-personnel ordinance. 

In the past few years, he had helped another company to incorporate fuzzy logic algorithm into a computer vision for recognizing and steering an autopilot automobile smoothly through various road topologies on a highway and city street lane centering system.  He was also involved UWB tracking of mobile robots and assets in GPS-denied areas and path planning of omnidirectional robotic vehicles, where the flexible and agile operation leads to savings in cost, time and efforts.

He is co-chairman and co-founder of the annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) co-organized and hosted by Oakland University.  He is the faculty advisor for the Oakland Robotics Association, whose team took the top prizes at the 21st annual IGVC in June, 2013, among 53 collegiate teams from across the globe. 

Research Interests

Control and estimation theory (internal model principle, optimal, adaptive, robust, fuzzy, neural, intelligent systems); Mechatronics (principles, modeling, simulation, computer tools, virtual and physical prototyping, systems engineering); Virtual realistic simulation (virtual vehicle system simulation, automobile driving simulator); Autonomous & intelligent systems (ground robotics, aerial robotics) 

Current and Previous Projects

  • Breast Cancer IR Thermography Automated Diagnostic System
  • Mine detection robots
  • Omni-directional mobile robots
  • Continuous variable transmission mechatronics
  • Lane departure warning and lane keeping system for highway vehicle
  • Navigation system & mobile precision location network using ultra-wideband ranging and communication
  • Laser horizon for small aircraft
  • Precision laser guided lawn service vehicle
  • Jumbo crane automation for a Rotterdam harbor project
  • Multi-sensor collision avoidance system for HMMWV and SUV; short range radar collision mitigation
  • Multi-CPU virtual vehicle system simulation and hardwarein- the-loop driving simulator
  • Leader follower control for a military humvee (HMMWV)
  • Traction Control for a Dodge Ram truck
  • Fuzzy logic tuned Kalman filter for ground speed estimation and GPS navigation
  • Active suspension for M1A1 Tank
  • Gun-turret stabilization for XM-97 helicopter, HIMAG Tank, M1A1 Main Combat Tank 

Selected Publications

Published over nine patents including:

  • US Patent No. US 8214147 B2, Jul. 3, 2012. “Navigation Unit and Base Station”, Ka C Cheok, et.al.   
  • International Patent WO 2012/068331 A1,  May 24, 2012, ”Lane Keeping Systems and Lane Centering System,”  Christopher Van Dan Elzen, Ka Chai Cheok, Micho Radovnikovich
  • US Patent No. US 7,403,783 B2; Jul. 22, 2008., “Navigation System”, Ka C Cheok, et.al,
  • US Patent No. US 6,532,419, March 11, 2003, “Calibration of Multi-Axis Accelerometer in Vehicle Navigation System”. John Begin & Ka C Cheok
  • US Patent No. US 7,908,041 B2, Mar. 15, 2011, Self-Leveling Laser Horizon for Navigation Guidance; Ka C Cheok, et al. 
  • US Patent No:  6,898,528;  Issued: May 24, 2004;  Title: Collision and Injury Mitigation System using Fuzzy Cluster Tracking; Inventors: N. Zorka, Ka C Cheok, G.E. Smid and M Rao;
  • U.S. patent, Sep 1 2000, International Application Number: PCT/US01/27496,   "Calibration of Multi-axis Accelerometer in Vehicle Navigation System using GPS Data, J. Begin and Ka C Cheok  

Published over 40 refereed journal including:

  • Pavan K. Vempaty, Ka C. Cheok, Robert N. K. Loh, and Safa Hasan, “Model Reference Adaptive Control of Biped Robot Actuators for Mimicking Human Gait,” Journal of International Association of Engineers (IAENG).  Appeared April 2011
  • Gregory R. Hudas, Ka. C. Cheok, and James L. Overholt, (2006), Fuzzy Variant of a Statistical Test Point Kalman Filter, NAFIPS'05 Special Issue of the Int. J. of Approximate Reasoning, Elsevier Publisher. Published 2007
  • Ka C Cheok, G.E. Smid, G.R. Lane, W.G. Agnew & A. Khan, “Gauging Intelligence of Unmanned Vehicle Systems – An IGVC Perspective,” Journal of Robotics Systems, Vol. 21, No. 8, August 2004, pp. 405-418. 
  • Ka C Cheok, “Simultaneous Linear Quadratic Pole Placement (LQPP) Control Design,” Procs. of 2002 International Federation of Automatic Control – World Congress, Barcelona, July 21- Aug 2, 2003 
  • K. Kobayashi, Ka C. Cheok and K. Watanabe, “Accurate Differential Global Positioning Systems using Fuzzy Logic Based Kalman Filtering,” IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Oct 1998 

Published over 100 conference papers including:

  • Pajaziti A., Cheok K., Radovnikovich M., Baftiu I., Godo G. “Design and Implementation of Low-Cost Mobile Robot for Mine Detection,” Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium (GVSETS) - Robotic Systems (RS) Mini Symposium, Troy, Michigan, August 14-16, 2012, Awarded Best Paper for the Symposium. 
  • Safa Hasan & Ka C Cheok, “Adaptive Backstepping Control based on Estimation of Dominant Parameters for Brushless DC Motor,”  ICGST International Conference on Computer Science and Engineering, CSE-Dubai-12, Dubai, UAE, 16-18 Jul 2012.

Research Grants and Contracts

Received numerous project funding and grants to support research and laboratories, including US DoD SBIRs, NSF, defense and automotive companies.


  • Michigan Teaching Excellence Award, Withdrow Teaching Excellent Award
  • ISATA Nissan Award for the Most Innovative Research
  • Shell Oil Company Scholarship, UCLA Extension Fellowship  

Professional Activities

  • Co-founder and co-organizer for the Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition www.igvc.org
  • Consulting member of the US Army Science Board, 2001 - 2004
  • Associate Editor for the International Journal of Intelligent Automation and Soft Computing,
  • Associate Editor for the International Journal of Automotive Technology
  • Organizing committee member for IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference, American Control Conferences, Computer Application in Industry and Engineering Conference

Commercialization contributions

Dr Cheok is also the President of JADI, Inc., a company that specializes in intelligent autonomous robotic vehicles and sensor networks. His company's current R&D efforts are focused on precision self-guidance of autonomous omnidirectional vehicles, UWB RF wireless location networks, guidance avionics for small aircrafts, and application of virtual simulation in intelligent perception. JADI works with Oakland University Smartzone INCubator to transfer technologies between academia and industries. It receives multiple supports and collaborations from government, state and private agencies and industries. 

Education Plan and Program

OU has already established the following education program to promote Smart Vehicle Systems through Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC). OU, US Army TACOM, the SAE and AUVSI organize and host the annual international IGVC since 1993. Each year engineering students teams (approximately 200 plus students; roughly 80% undergraduates and 20% graduates) from 20 to 30 universities (OU included) from the US, Canada and Japan build autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV’s) that compete in the IGVC events. The UGV’s must autonomously navigate around obstacle courses in the quickest and safest manner. The challenge requires integration of multidisciplinary technologies (computer, camera, GPS, radar, sonar, electronics, motors, drive train) with smart system decision (signal processing, estimation, control and navigation). The IGVC is sponsored by government agencies, automotive, robotic and defense industries (see  www.igvc.com). The SVS Center will promote additional events in the IGVC.