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Intelligent Systems at APL

The Intelligent Systems Center (ISC) leverages APL’s broad expertise across national security, space exploration and health to fundamentally advance the employment of intelligent systems for our nation’s critical challenges.

Inventing the future of intelligent systems for our nation
Inventing the future of intelligent systems for our nation

What the ISC does

The Intelligent Systems Center (ISC) acts as a focal point for research and development in artificial intelligence, robotics and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). Intelligent systems can make decisions under uncertainty – some of our intelligent systems can fly, walk, swim and roll and others ingest vast, complex datasets to make useful predictions. APL creates and translates advancements in human and machine intelligence into new capabilities for our sponsors.

As a center of excellence at APL, the ISC fosters new partnerships internally and externally to the Lab, hosts key projects and technologies for the enterprise, and acts as the steward of the Lab’s artificial intelligence strategy. Based on envisioned futures spanning national security, space exploration and health, APL has formulated an AI Technology Roadmap consisting of the four technology vectors illustrated below to help guide our research and development in the coming decades.

Learn more about APL’s AI Technology Roadmap

Technology vectors


Autonomous Perception

Systems that reason about their environment, focus on the mission-critical aspects of a scene, understand the intent of humans and other machines and learn through targeted exploration


Superhuman Decision-Making and Autonomous Action

Systems that blend human and artificial intelligence to identify, evaluate, select, and execute effective courses of action with superhuman speed and accuracy for real-world challenges


Human-Machine Teaming at the Speed of Thought

Systems that can be trusted to understand human intent while collaborating to perform tasks that are difficult, dangerous or impossible for humans to carry out with speed and accuracy


Safe and Assured Operation

Systems that are robust to the perturbations of real-world environments, resilient to adversarial attacks, capable of ethical reasoning and guaranteed to pursue goals that remain aligned with human intent

Explore the ISC

The ISC facility is home to a cross-disciplinary research group spanning machine learning, robotic and autonomous systems and applied neuroscience. The state of the art facility provides laboratories for hardware and software development, modular test platforms, and unmanned vehicle test areas.