The Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems (IRAS) Interagency Working Group (IWG) coordinates Federal R&D in accelerating the development and use of IRAS in workplaces, hospitals, communities, and homes. IRAS targets R&D for robust, safe, ethical, resilient, and efficient robots and advanced robotics systems that assist people in their work and everyday lives. The IRAS IWG reports investments to the IRAS Program Component Area.



The Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems Interagency Working Group (IRAS IWG) was formed in 2017 to coordinate Federal IRAS R&D across 28 participating agencies. Their work grew out of the 2011 National Robotics Initiative and involves various aspects of autonomous robots including the accelerated development and use of collaborative robots and other intelligent physical systems. IRAS is focused on developing robust, safe, efficient, and ethical robots and intelligent systems that can assist people in their work and everyday lives. Advanced robotic systems can enhance safety, minimize human risk, support the elderly and disabled, and boost the Nation’s economic security and national defense.

Strategic Priorities

  • Promote safe, efficient human-robot teaming, including evaluating human-robotic interaction systems for safe, trustworthy, transparent collaboration to increase quality of work and life
  • Improve validation and verification of robotic and autonomous systems, including developing metrics, information models, methods, protocols, and tools.
  • Advance intelligent physical systems to improve their abilities to robustly sense, model, act, plan, learn, and behave ethically in complex and uncertain situations.
  • Enhance wearable robotic fabrics and devices including exoskeletons and exosuits that improve worker safety and performance in various settings and provide rehabilitation for injured or disabled persons.

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Steven J. Thomson Steven J. Thomson
National Program Leader (NPL)
Division of Agricultural Systems
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
Juan Wachs Juan Wachs
Program Director
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (CISE/IIS)
National Science Foundation (NSF)

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