Tactical Behaviors for Autonomous Maneuver Collaborative Research Program (TBAM-CRP)


A diagram showing the basic principle of a bounding overwatch maneuver; each bracket shows the overwatch positions taken by each team as they advance

Develop coordinated behaviors for small groups of autonomous agents to perform doctrinal as well as novel tactical maneuver in realistic simulations of complex military-relevant environments. Performers will develop novel techniques to learn as well as demonstrate coordinated models of maneuver in realistic simulations of complex terrain such as forest/jungle, undulating desert/grassland, watershed/wet-gap, and rural settings (fields with boundary fences, sparse road networks, intermittent watershed and forested areas). The coordinated behaviors exhibited by the ground robot team should find military-relevant routes which maximize cover and concealment and maneuver as if adversary contact were imminent. In areas where environmental cover is absent, but traversal is required by the mission, elements of the team should provide cover for their advancing teammates.

Program structure

The TBAM-CRP is a 6.1 basic research program. It will consist of a series of two-year sprint efforts executed with annual program reviews. Each two-year sprint topic will be focused on addressing a different set of scientific areas which will support higher tech readiness level (TRL) research with internal ARL subject-matter experts. The first two-year sprint topic is “coordinated and adversarial tactical maneuver in complex terrains”, with an operational scenario entitled “Movement to Contact”. In this scenario, contact with adversarial positions is a constant concern – in some situations this contact should be avoided through use of terrain features and cover; in other missions the adversary positions should be met with a posture of tactical overmatch through coordinated maneuver – the synchronized actions of a distributed system.

Notional timeline

EventEstimated date/timeframe
Opportunity released22 April 2022
Opportunity webinar29 April 2022, 1500 EDT
Deadline for questions on funding opportunity16 May 2022
Proposals due for Cycle 127 May 2022, 1700 EDT
Notification to recipients1-14 July 2022
Cycle 1 awardsSept 2022


TBAM-CRP Opportunity Webinar

Date: Friday, April 29
Time: 1500 – 1630 EDT

Recording from the TBAM opportunity webinar presented 29 April 2022

Recording for slides from opportunity webinar on the MITRE Multi-Agent Environment and current research

This is a computer-animated video showing a conceptual scenario for this program. Two squads of robotic agents are maneuvering to a position on a hilltop to monitor four adversary units operating in the valley below. This video demonstrates some tactical maneuvers such as leveraging formations, as well as bounded overwatch both within one squad, as well as the second squad providing overwatch for the first squad. Assets in this video utilize terrain for quick movement in cover, and use overwatch when they must make maneuvers out in the open.

A video demonstrating learned navigation behaviors from the Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance capstone demonstration

A simulated polaris MRZR in the ARL Unity robot simulator

A video showing the learned controller for the combined search task in the MITRE Multi-Agent Environment (MMAE)

Another video showing the learned controller for the combined search task in the MITRE Multi-Agent Environment (MMAE)

Submit questions prior to deadline (16 May 2022):


Answers to received questions:

Coming soon