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Intelligent Control and Tactical Behavior Development: A Long Term NIST Partnership with the Army



James S. Albus, Tony Barbera


For more than 15 years, the Intelligent Systems Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has worked closely with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) on architectures and technology development for intelligent control of unmanned vehicle systems. During the early 1990?s, NIST developed techniques for retrotraverse of trajectories recorded using teleoperation. In the late 1990?s NIST worked with ARL and the German Ministry of Defense to develop the 4-dimensional Real-time Control System (4D/RCS) reference model architecture for the ARL Demo III program. 4D/RCS consists of a multi-layered multi-resolutional hierarchy of computational nodes (i.e., organizational units) each containing elements of sensory processing (SP), world modeling (WM), value judgment (VJ), and behavior generation (BG). At the lower echelons, these nodes generate goal-seeking reactive behavior. At higher echelons, they enable goal-defining deliberative behavior. Throughout the hierarchy, interaction between SP, WM, VJ, and BG give rise to perception, cognition, imagination, reasoning, planning, and control. In 2002 and 2003, NIST worked with ARL to conduct a series of engineering tests to demonstrate that autonomous mobility technology developed under the Demo III program satisfied the requirements for Technology Readiness Level 6 (i.e., a prototype demonstration in a relevant environment.) More recently, NIST has worked with ARL to develop an engineering methodology and software development environment for endowing autonomous ground and air vehicles with the capability for tactical behaviors.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of ICINCO 06 ? International Conference in Control
Conference Dates
February 11-16, 2006
Conference Location
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Conference Title
Nuclear Society, 9th Emerg. Preparedness & Response, 11th Robotics & Remote Sys for Hazardous Environ.


4D/RCS, 4D/RCS architecture, design methodology, Intelligent control, Robotics & Intelligent Systems, Unmanned Systems


Albus, J. and Barbera, T. (2006), Intelligent Control and Tactical Behavior Development: A Long Term NIST Partnership with the Army, Proceedings of ICINCO 06 ? International Conference in Control, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, [online], (Accessed February 22, 2024)
Created June 25, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021