A Model-driven Approach to Robot Architecture

Posted 21 Feb 2013 at 19:37 UTC by steve Share This

While you might have trouble getting any two roboticists to agree on what exactly a "robot architecture" is or which one is best, you would probably find agreement that the process of designing a robot architecture is a form of engineering. Piotr Trojanek argues that, if that is the case, then it might be worthwhile to apply the workflow of model-driven engineering development to the task of designing a robot architecture. He lays out his thoughts in a recently published paper called, Model-driven engineering approach to design and implementation of robot control systems (PDF format). From the paper:

"We believe, that model-driven engineering provides the necessary framework that enables the development of methods and tools for robot control and programming in a much more disciplined and efficient manner than before. Dedicated tools for all the steps involved (i.e., definition of domain meta-model, multiple notations, model-to-model and modelto-text transformations) promise that the final solution can be delivered with much less effort."

The paper gives a brief introduction to the predominate 1960s robot architecture known as sense-plan-act (SPA) and its subsequent replacement by the modern subsumption architecture championed by Brooks. The author proceeds to use the Eclipse Modeling Framework to take the reader through the process of using a model-driven approach that ends with a subsumption architecture that is then tested on simulated robots as well as on a real-world LEGO Mindstorms NXT platfrom. The complete architecture modeler and an ADA code generator are available for download from github

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