CRUSER – “From Technical to Ethical…From Concept Generation to Experimentation…”

At the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, the Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research (CRUSER) was stood up at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, March 2011. CRUSER has developed a forum that incorporates all aspects of Unmanned Systems including ethical issues concerning unmanned systems, manpower, acquisition cost, as well as the varied technical aspects.

The specific CRUSER goals are to:

  • Provide a source for unmanned systems employment concepts for operations and technical research;
  • Provide an experimentation program to evaluate unmanned system employment concepts;
  • Provide a venue for Navy-wide education in unmanned systems;
  • Provide a Navy-wide forum for collaborative education, research, and experimentation in unmanned systems.


CRUSER is a Community of Interest (CoI), which welcomes participation from anyone interested in unmanned systems. The community currently has over 400 members with a wide-range of interests and involvement. CoI member benefits include:

  • Receive CRUSER e-newsletters with updates on unmanned research
  • Be invited to symposia related to your area of interest
  • Participate in Unmanned Systems experimentation
  • Aid in development of Concept Generation

CRUSER distributes a monthly newsletter containing short articles from academic researchers, military organizations, and industry on various facets of unmanned systems. This provides a venue for sharing current research, new products, and discussions of semantics and ethics. CRUSER News welcomes contributions for the newsletter.

In September 2011 the CRUSER Warfare Innovation Workshop included 15 engineers from NPS, navy labs, and industry who joined 20 NPS students on four teams who developed over 40 concepts for future unmanned systems research. A copy of their After Action Report is available at:

Those ideas were narrowed to the following five areas, which will be the focus of the May CRUSER Technical Continuum: Counter UAV, ISR, Information Assurance, Knowledge Management/Data Management, or Non-Kinetic Strike. Abstracts on technical presentations related to these concepts to be presented at the continuum are due by 31 Jan 2012. The form for submission and additional information can be found on the website


The CRUSER Technical Continuum will be held 7-10 May 2012 in Monterey, CA. In conjunction with the Continuum, the Robots in the Roses Research Fair will be held on 10 May at NPS where researchers/industry will have the opportunity to showcase their research/projects to attendees of the CRUSER Technical Continuum and the entire NPS Community.

Selected technologies from the CRUSER Technical Continuum will be targeted for field experimentation in 2013.

ONR and OPNAV N2/N6 will sponsor an upcoming CRUSER education symposium titled “Robo-Ethics: Rhetoric vs. Reality” in the Pentagon Conference Center on 25-26 January 2012.   Four independent two-hour panels will discuss various aspects of the legal, cultural and ethical issues related to unmanned system employment in warfare.  DoD employees are welcome to attend one or all the panel offerings as their schedule permits.  This education symposium is offered only to DoD employees.   However, future similar symposia may be offered at NPS for the larger CRUSER CoI. Additional information about the panels, biographies of the panelists, or to pre-register can be found on our website

For additional information about CRUSER or to join our Community of Interest, please see our website at