Autonomy is the ability to respond to uncertain situations by independently composing and selecting among different courses of action in order to accomplish goals based on knowledge and understanding of the world, itself, and the situation. Autonomy is characterized by degrees of self-directed behavior (levels of autonomy) ranging from fully manual to fully autonomous. Robotics is the study of designing and building autonomous systems spanning all levels of autonomy (including full human control). Unmanned Vehicles are vehicles that may be remotely controlled by a person or may act autonomously depending on the mission.
Autonomous Systems & Robotics
03.A Access Inaccessible Areas
Access contaminated, high threat (e.g. risk of explosives) or inaccessible environments to identify contaminants, conduct decontamination, or assess and MEDEVAC casualties without, necessarily, requiring human supervision.
Robot, soldier replacement
03.B Repurpose Systems
Take control of or piggy back off commercial unmanned systems (e.g. home helper robots, delivery or transportation vehicles) for own purposes. E.g. surveillance, strategic communications, etc.
Internet of things, robot takeover
03.C Replace the Soldiers
Complement/replace human forces with highly human-like robots that have beyond human strength and information processing ability but at a distance appear and function as a human or are adequately human for simple interactions.
Android, decoy, foot soldier
03.D Assist the Soldiers
Complement/replace human forces with highly non-human but human-integrated robot designs optimized for specific purposes such as surveillance or logistics.
Software, restart, reprogram
03.E Self-Heal Software Systems
Self-repair, upgrade and repurpose systems during deployment without a requirement to connect to or download content from a central server. Can also be used to automatically recover from cyber-attack.
Software, restart, reprogram
03.F Autonomous Lethal Weapons
Automatically attack specific individuals, vehicles, objects or facilities with anything from fly-size or smaller systems to low cost lightweight man-deployable precision guided munitions to hypersonic weaponry.
Autonomous lethal weapons
03.G Deploy a Swarm
Infiltrate or disrupt adversary actions or sample atmosphere or conduct surveillance using massive swarms (e.g. millions of nano-unmanned air systems).
Swarms, intelligence, overwhelm
03.H Active Defence System
Automatically defend small or medium sized unarmoured or lightly armoured vehicles or individuals from a variety of incoming threats such as missiles, rockets, directed energy or projectiles with automatic countermeasures systems.
Active defence, countermeasure
03.I Driverless Transportation
Travel anywhere including urban areas (air and ground) and busy harbours in unmanned vehicles ranging in size from personal transporters to strategic lift.
Unmanned systems, transport
Adapted from the original 2018 version by Quentin Ladetto, Gabriele Rizzo, Jacqueline Eaton
03.A; 03.B; 03.C; 03.D; 03.E; 03.F; 03.G; 03.H; 03.I