This paper describes a modular system architecture for mobile robotics. It presents the view of an individual robot as a collection of many small pieces of hardware and software grouped into functional subsystems. A set of robots can then join together to form a larger system. The goal of this work is to describe a software design philosophy and architecture that is flexible yet robust enough to meet the challenges of the mobile robotics domain. The guiding design principle is bottom-to-top modularization, from individual algorithms, to software executables, to functional groupings of executables. These functional groupings are presented as canonical subsystems for collaborative robotics, applicable to a wide range of robotics systems. A multi-agent multi-user UAV application is presented as a case study and proof of the generality of the design philosophy.

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