The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.

Technical Capabilities

Autonomous Systems

Draper’s Autonomous Systems group works with customers to conceptualize, design, build, and deploy trusted intelligent robotic systems for their most challenging problems. Our holistic approach to system development includes developing a system architecture, writing dynamically adaptable and robust software, building custom macro- and microscale electromechanical systems, and rigorously testing and evaluating performance. Our specific capabilities include system engineering and evaluations, autonomy software, perception, mobility, and mission assurance.


System Engineering & EvaluationDeveloping performance expectations for autonomous systems not only drives the design, but also sets the framework for evaluating performance and communication to the customer. Trust in an autonomous system begins with clearly communicated and testable expectations of performance. Draper applies industry-leading processes to the development of a system. Our systems engineers perform the critical conceptualization of the system, and thorough test and evaluation techniques are included in the planning and execution of the process.

Autonomy SoftwareSoftware engineering for autonomous systems applies decades of experience in mission-critical software development for our customer’s needs. When appropriate, we leverage mature, proven products as a foundation for success.

MobilityFor mobile autonomous systems, Draper has the experience to design, build, and integrate many types of mobility systems – from underwater, to ground, to aerial, and even space. We specialize in creating solutions to the most challenging problems and work with our customers to choose the correct mobility system, whether it is a unique custom design or an adaptation of an available system.

PerceptionEvery autonomous systems needs a view of the world to make intelligent decisions – and Draper is working on new directions in perception technologies that will enable system operation in challenging tactical environments. These include vision-aided navigation, and compressive sensing.

Mission AssuranceFor more than 50 years, Draper has provided hardware and software systems that perform reliably year after year. We remain dedicated to proving reliability and mission readiness and are developing new methods that will provide assurance for highly autonomous intelligent systems. These methods include high fidelity simulation systems and novel test and evaluation planning methodologies.