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Specifying Autonomy Levels for Unmanned Systems: Interim Report



Hui-Min Huang, James S. Albus, Elena R. Messina, R C. Wade, W English


The viability of Unmanned Systems as tools is increasingly recognized in many domains. As technology advances, the autonomy on board these systems also advances. In order to evaluate the systems in terms of their levels of autonomy, it is critical to have a set of standard definitions that support a set of metrics. As autonomy cannot be evaluated quantitatively without sound and thorough technical basis, the development of autonomy levels for unmanned systems must take into account many factors such as task complexity, human interaction, and environmental difficulty. An ad hoc working group assembled by government practitioners has been formed to address these issues. The ultimate objectives for the working group are: - To determine the requirements for metrics for autonomy levels of unmanned systems. - To devise methods for establishing metrics of autonomy for unmanned systems. - To develop a set of widely recognized standard definitions for the levels of autonomy for unmanned systems. This paper describes the interim results that the group has accomplished through the first four workshops that the group held. We report on the initial findings of the workshops toward developing a generic framework for the Autonomy Levels for Unmanned Systems (ALFUS).
Conference Dates
April 12-16, 2004
Conference Location
Orlando, FL, USA
Conference Title
SPIE Defense and Security Symposium 2004


autonomy, environment, human-robot interaction, metrics, mission, performance, Unmanned Systems


Huang, H. , Albus, J. , Messina, E. , Wade, R. and English, W. (2004), Specifying Autonomy Levels for Unmanned Systems: Interim Report, SPIE Defense and Security Symposium 2004, Orlando, FL, USA, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created April 15, 2004, Updated October 12, 2021