The three strategic areas within WASP are defined as follows:
Vehicles, Robots, and Humans
Autonomous vehicles and robots incorporate all classes of robotic systems including aerial, ground, vehicular, and underwater systems and vary in scale from grams to several tons. These systems integrate concepts from control theory such as the use of closed control loops and probabilistic inference, in addition to concepts from artificial intelligence such as the use of model-based, goal-directed behaviour and logical inference. Autonomous decision-making, perceptual processing, information fusion, learning, actuation, and interaction and collaboration with humans are essential capabilities of these types of systems.
Systems of Systems
Systems of Systems (SoS) describe the large-scale integration of several independent self-contained systems to satisfy global needs. In a SoS the individual systems are independent and useful in their own right and maintain a continuing operational existence independent of the SoS. Furthermore, the systems are often developed, operated, and owned by different stakeholders. The development and existence of a SoS is typically evolutionary, with functions and purposes added, removed, and modified during its lifetime. The SoS shows behaviours that are emergent properties of the entire system of systems and cannot be localized to any component system. SoS is a wide research area and the focus in WASP will be the autonomous aspects of SoS, including both infrastructure systems and purely software-based systems. Also here autonomous decision-making, adaptivity, information fusion, learning, and interaction and collaboration with humans are essential capabilities.
Software is the main enabler for all complex engineering systems, and is also responsible for realizing the intelligence that lies at their core. The continuous increase in the potential performance of computational units, and the decrease in their cost means that computational capacity is increasing dramatically. Consequently software becomes more powerful and enables previously unimagined functionality. This, however, also causes a dramatic increase of software size, complexity, and development efforts. Software is currently a large and rapidly increasing part of the development cost of almost all engineering systems. The ability to manage this complexity and ensuring dependability in a dynamic unpredictable environment requires new development approaches and technologies that increase the abstraction level of software design and implementation. This will be the focus of the software research that will be performed in WASP, and includes topics such as model‐driven and component-based engineering, domain-specific languages and tools, testing and verification, dynamic computer architectures, and resource-aware software technologies.