Robotics for Military and Civil Applications

Course Length:



This four-day course provides an in-depth of treatment of military and civil robotic technology and the current design direction. Special focus will be paid to the integration of the robot system with the human. This integration pertains to the design of robotic systems that are expected to operate remotely in a world designed for human beings, as well as the interfacing of the robot system with the operator. Robotics is a transformative technology which will revolutionize society, with a profound effect on how we do things. The availability of new component technologies coupled with the “maker” or ‘hobbyist” movement has had a profound effect on the speed and direction of the field. We must understand robotics and intelligent systems and their potential to alter the nature of warfare, foreign policy, and closer to home, industry and business. Students of this class will understand the constitution of robotic systems, robotic system design and trade-offs, robotic architectures and the benefit on the field, and expected near term trends in society. Each student will receive a complete digital set of all presentations and lecture notes.

What you will learn:

  • What are machine intelligence, autonomy, knowledge, learning, adaptation, mind, and wisdom?
  • How to design intelligent control system architectures and robot subsystems such as dexterity and vision?
  • How does an autonomous robot accomplish sensing, sensor processing, perception, world modeling, planning, and behavior generation?
  • How will driverless vehicles affect civilian life, military operations, and national security?
  • How will humanoid, legged, and other biomimetic robots be used by the military?
  • What can be expected in near term military and civilian needs – what technologies are necessary now and in the future to make these technologies ubiquitous?

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction.Meaning of robotics, machine intelligence, autonomy, knowledge, learning, adaptation, mind, disruption and transformation.
  2. From the Kaiser to ISIL: A Century of Military Robotics. Sun Tzu. Taxonomy of military robots. Past, present, and future robotics programs. State of the technology, current maturity. Lessons learned. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robotic systems .
  3. Human-Inspired Robotics. Robotic locomotion. Tracks vs. wheels, biped vs. quadruped. Manipulation & degrees of freedom, Dexterity and Robotic Vision as the transformative enablers to integrate robots into lifestyle
  4. Waiting for the Singularity. Humanoid, legged, vs. traditional tracked robots. Cyborgs and the singularity. Potential impacts of robots on military tactics, strategy, doctrine, and policy. Commercialization of military robots and applications.
  5. Importance of Feedback. Haptic and visual feedback for user-in-the-loop operation. Methodologies and prioritization based on bandwidth, cost, controllability.
  6. Robotics for a New War – Understanding Requirements. Robots as asymmetric solutions. Robots for counter-terrorism and homeland security. EOD robotic systems, mules, MAARS, and policy
  7. Architecture & Robot Decomposition. NIST 4D/RCS , AEODRS and IOP architectures. Control systems, sensors, effectors, and interfaces. World modeling and behavior generation. Sensory perception. Egosphere, images, frames, and entities. Plan execution.
  8. Robotic System Domains and Design Considerations. Space, air, ground, and water. Robot component design. Robotic architectures and examples, benefits and detriments. Robotic component design: electrical, mechanical, and electromechanical. Power, communications, logic, and programming languages.
  9. Detailed Robotic System Design. Human-inspired manipulator design. Sensing and end effectors. Controlling motors and subsystems.
  10. Goal Seeking and Planning. Control theory, feedback, and feed-forward. Planning and multi-resolutional planning. Robot motivation, emotion, consciousness, and behavior.
  11. Intelligent Transportation Systems Advent of the driverless robocar car. Connected vehicle system. Impact of intelligent vehicles on business, industry, society, urban planning, & national economy.
  12. Robotic Systems Trends. Industry and government trends, Open architectures. Actuation methods and types. Sensor modalities and power sources.
  13. Industry Robotic Systems. Historic and future use and type. Effects of high-dexterity systems. Manufacturing applications. Effects of human-inspired systems: virtual experience and haptics with vision. Remote projection of human capabilities.
  14. Home Robotic Systems. Assistive systems for the elderly and disabled. Robots for mundane tasks: housekeeping and yard care.


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • Dr. Matthew VanSanten Kozlowski is VP of Engineering at Telefactor Robotics developing vision and dexterity systems, such as novel “smart” prosthetic and human integrated robotic systems for injured soldiers and civilians, first responders, space crewmembers, and the aging population. Matthew has co-founded two robotics technology companies. Previously, he was the lead architect for the Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robot System (AEODRS) at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

  • Dr. Robert Finkelstein , President of Robotic Technology Inc., has more than 30 years of experience in robotics, unmanned vehicles, intelligent systems, military and civil systems analysis, operations research, technology assessment and forecasting. He is a Collegiate Professor at the University of Maryland University College and Co-Director of the Intelligent Systems Lab at U. of Maryland. He served as an Army ordnance officer.

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