We are developing a framework (RISCWare) for the modular design and integration of sensory modules, actuation platforms, and task descriptions that will be implemented as a tool to reduce efforts in designing and utilizing robotic platforms. The framework is used to customize robotic platforms by simply defining the available sensing devices, actuation platforms, and required tasks. The main purpose for designing this framework is to reduce the time and complexity of the development of robotic software and maintenance costs, and to improve code and component reusability. Usage of the proposed framework prevents the need to redesign or rewrite algorithms or applications due to changes in the robot’s platform, operating systems, or the introduction of new functionalities. In this paper, the RISCWare framework is developed and described. RISCWare is a robotic middleware used for the integration of heterogeneous robotic components. RISCWare consists of three modules. The first module is the sensory module, which represents sensors that collect information about the remote or local environment. The platform module defines the robotic platforms and actuation methods. The last module is the task-description module, which defines the tasks and applications that the platforms will perform such as teleoperation, navigation, obstacle avoidance, manipulation, 3-D reconstruction, and map building. The plug-and-play approach is one of the key features of RISCWare, which allows auto-detection and auto-reconfiguration of the attached standardized components (hardware and software) according to current system configurations. These components can be dynamically available or unavailable. Dynamic reconfiguration provides the facility to modify a system during its execution and can be used to apply patches and updates, to implement adaptive systems, or to support third-party modules. This automatic detection and reconfiguration of devices and driver software makes it easier and more efficient for end users to add and use new devices and software applications. In addition, the software components should be written in a flexible way to get better usage of the hardware resource and also they should be easy to install/uninstall. Several experiments, performed on the RISCbot II mobile manipulation platform, are described and implemented to evaluate the RISCWare framework with respect to applicability and resource utilization.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.