Adam Porter, Derek A. Paley, Dinesh Manocha, Pratap Tokekar

Funding Agency

National Science Foundation




This is a one-year, $100K grant.

Teams of autonomous ground robots and unmanned vehicles will be used in missions such as search-and-rescue, mining, material handling, and protecting secure facilities. Computer scientists and engineers are inventing and enhancing new algorithms that these autonomous systems will use to collaborate with each other. Better algorithms will improve team performance. Currently, testing such algorithms requires extensive time and resources to setup and run simulation models and other facilities that are needed for test and evaluation, validation and verification. This project will lay the foundation for a modeling and simulation infrastructure that will reduce barriers to research and development of autonomous systems and will enable collaboration in this important research area. This will accelerate the implementation of these systems that will have numerous benefits to society.

This project will plan a community research infrastructure. The planning process will include a broad-based community of researchers from multiple institutions, including experts in robotics systems, modeling and simulation, test & evaluation, and software engineering, and will engage them in multiple ways. The planning group will develop use cases, design the infrastructure architecture, and identify key partners. A broader group will provide input via a survey and a workshop at a robotics conference. The ultimate deliverable of this planning project will be a proposal to be submitted in January 2022. The infrastructure will include hardware, software, APIs, user interfaces, libraries of models, a development and testing environment, and documentation.