Autonomy Artificial Intelligence Robotics (AAIR)

ROS‑Military: Progress and Promise

by Jerry Towler; Matthew Bries


The potential and promise of automated vehicles has been driving U.S. military research and development in the field for decades. Yet despite this investment, progress toward fully autonomous, field-ready, warfighter-engaged systems has been disappointingly slow. The ROS‑Military (ROS‑M) program aims to create a central registry of defense-related robotic components surrounded by a community of practice with common processes, systems, and standards. These software components will serve as a foundation for future autonomy efforts to build from, both fulfilling the potential of broad collaboration and greatly increasing the pace of development of autonomous platforms. To execute on this promise, the ROS‑M program has begun executing on four parallel paths of investigation, prototyping, and demonstration.