Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems (IRAS) R&D advances intelligent robotic systems; this includes R&D in robotics hardware and software design and application, machine perception, cognition and adaptation, mobility and manipulation, human-robot interaction, distributed and networked robotics, and increasingly autonomous systems.



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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Frank Hearl Frank Hearl
Chief of Staff
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Erion Plaku Erion Plaku
Program Director
Department of Information and Intelligent Systems
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE/IIS)
National Science Foundation (NSF)

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