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Ka C. Cheok, Ph.D.

Ka C. Cheok Headshot

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

[email protected]

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. 


  • Automotive mechatronics
  • Microcomputer-based control systems
  • Electric hybrid drive
  • Adaptive control
  • Intelligent control
  • Atonomous vehicles
  • Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition

Research Interests

Theory and application of control and estimation, computer vision, computational intelligence
including fuzzy logic, neural networks, machine learning, deep learning and global optimization
decisions. Practical experience in autonomous mobile robots, local positioning, omnidirectional
vehicles, mine-detection robots, self-driving technologies and automated IR cancer detection.

“My academic research strives in grasping deep insights of the subjects and extend their
potentials into useful tools. I work with professionals and entrepreneurs to bring these ideas to
meaningful real world applications.” -KaC Cheok

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

1. “Eye-Hand Tracking Simulator for Training AI Learning Systems” 2018 Int’l Conf on Computers and Their Applications, Las Vegas, Mar 19-21, ’18.

2. “Development of a Two Step Self-Triggered Adapting Control System” 2017 IEEE 5th Inter’l Symp on Robotics & Intelligent Systems, Montreal, CA, Jan 24-27, ‘17

3. Multimode Surround View for ADAS Vehicles”, 2016 IEEE 4th International Symposium on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Tokyo, Japan, Dec 17-20, ‘16

4. “LMA tuned Gradient Descent-based Model Reference Adaptive Control Scheme”, 2016 Comp Appl in Industry & Engr (CAINE), Denver, CO, Sep 26-28, ‘16.

5. “Multi-Feature Criteria for Qualifying Hand Motion as a Gesture”, 2014 27th Int’l Conf on Comr Appl in Industry & Engineering, New Orleans, LA, Oct 13-15, ‘

6. “Simultaneous multi-veh control & obstacle avoidance with supervised optimal planning,” 2014 IEEE Int. Conf. Tech Pract Robot Appl , Philadelphia, Apr 2014.

7. “Semi-Autonomous Mobile Robot for Mine Detection”, 2013 10th Int’l Symp on Humanitarian Demining HUDEM, Šibenik, Croatia, Apr 23-25, 2013.

8. “Omni-Directional Autonom Guided Veh w Wireless Navigation”, 2013 Grnd Veh Syst Engr & Tech Symp – Autonom Robotics, Aug 21-23,’13, Troy, MI.

9. “A Novel Nonlinear Backstepping Control Design for Ball & Beam System,” 2013 IEEE Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Columbus, OH, Aug 4-7, 2013.

10. “Design & Impl of Low-Cost Mobile Robot for Mine Detection,” 2012 Grnd Veh Syst Engr & Tech Symp (GVSETS) - Robotic Systems, Troy, MI August 14-16, ’12. Won a Best Paper Award for the Symposium.

11. “Adaptive Backstepping Control based on Estim of Dominant Parameters for BLDC Motor,” 2012 Int’l Conf on Comp Sci & Engr, Dubai, UAE, 16-18 Jul 2012.

12. “Model Ref Adaptive Control of Biped Robot Actuators for Mimicking Human Gait,” Journ of Int’l Assoc of Engineers (IAENG) 2011

13. Published over 140 technical journal/conference papers and 10 US patents.

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.

School of Engineering and Computer Science

Engineering Center, Room 301
115 Library Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-447
(location map)
Dean's Office (248) 370-2217
Academic Advising (248) 370-2201