A.o. Univ. Prof. Dr. Dipl.-Ing. eva Kühn
TU Wien

Stephan Zavrel

Design and implementation of a robot coordination framework using shared memory middleware


Diploma Thesis, TU-Vienna, 2007


Designing control applications for autonomous mobile robots is a very challenging task and requires a very broad spectrum of knowledge since the field of robotics combines diverse disciplines like mechanics, electronics, computer science and artificial intelligence. The process becomes even more complex if the solution to a problem requires the cooperation and coordination of multiple robots. Experience has shown that in the field of Embodied AI, which focuses on the physical body and its interactions with an environment, the particular problem arises, that a lot of time needs to be invested in the assembling and preparations of robots and suitable communication mechanisms before focus can be put on the area of interest - writing artificial intelligent control applications for the robot team.


This thesis addresses the problem by introducing a software architecture that supports a developer by providing mechanisms to automatically generate a framework for the development of distributed control applications using a virtual shared memory communication layer. To achieve this goal an existing modular and extensible autonomous robot system is enhanced by a communication system based on the principles of sensor and actuator sharing and the creation of a holistic system view for every member of a robot team. Using this approach all the resources available in a scenario can be accessed from each control application in the same way. Furthermore focus is put on the usability and simplicity of the resulting system to minimize the time and effort for users to reach the point where development of control applications can start.


The work is completed by a prototypical implementation of the proposed architecture and its application in a simple proof-of-concept scenario.


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