Robotics and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

The NDUS Foundation has prioritized Unmanned Systems Research, Development, and Education as a Top Priority

The NDUS Foundation was proud to receive its first donation to the state-wide UAS effort from Xcel Energy and wants to again express its appreciation for that generous gift.

However, for purposes of integration and efficiency, the State Board has designated one campus to help lead and guide the UAS effort: the University of North Dakota’s Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS).

The mission and additional information from RIAS is provided below. If you desire to support UAS development in North Dakota, please contact visit our Ways to Give page or RIAS. To read on:

UND Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS)

The UND Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS) is created to help integrate the expertise, infrastructure, activities and resources of UND and the North Dakota University System, with the goal of establishing ongoing and sustainable externally funded unmanned and autonomous research leading to economic development and diversification in the state of North Dakota. The RIAS will help to brand North Dakota as the leading destination for cutting edge unmanned and autonomous technology and workforce development.

Through significant investment by state and federal governments, the private sector, and the University of North Dakota over the past 12 years, a vibrant unmanned aircraft systems community has been established in Grand Forks and the state of North Dakota. This ecosystem holds the promise of new unmanned and autonomous research and technology development, workforce development, and business creation, attraction and retention in the region and the state.

The RIAS will encompass all research activities in unmanned and autonomous systems at UND and will provide significant opportunities for collaboration across the North Dakota University System and with the private sector. The RIAS will form multiple research groups that will work collaboratively to win significant federal extramural research funding, develop new technologies that will lead to the formation of new businesses in North Dakota, and help to create the workforce that is needed to support these businesses.

The RIAS will engage researchers across a broad spectrum of disciplines in order to catalyze and support research and technology development across the unmanned and autonomous systems enterprise, including but not limited to the following focus areas: Flight; Applications; Data Acquisition, Analysis and Security; Policy, Law and Ethics; Entrepreneurship; and Development of Next Generation Systems.