EmSBoT: a modular software framework for networked robotic systems
Mr Peng Long - ETRO, Vrije Universiteit Brussel [Email] [URL]
A modern advanced robot or a multi-robot system can be regarded as a networked system equipped with diverse embedded processors ranging from microcontrollers to desktop-level microprocessors. To facilitate software development for such systems, robotic software frameworks such as ROS, Player and others are widely used. However, most of them are not designed to support hardware platforms with only some kilobytes of memory and a variety of embedded operating systems. With advances in processor power, a new orientation towards a unified framework that supports a heterogeneous system is at stake.
This dissertation aims at reducing the complexity of software development for these networked robotic systems. First, we analyse the challenges and requirements of such systems and present an embedded modular software framework (EmSBoT). Our framework explores requirements such as: support for diverse platforms, unified communication mechanisms and real-time capability. Extensive behaviour and performance assessment validate the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Moreover, a new scripting language is developed to increase the frameworks flexibility and satisfy the fault tolerant requirement. To demonstrate the feasibility of EmSBoT, a multi-robot formation control problem is considered. Novel control algorithms, based on the receding horizon control scheme, are introduced dealing with the effects of communication delays and non-synchronized clocks between the robots.
Master in Computer Science and Technology, 2011, National University of Defense Technology