A Design of Robotic Software Frameworks for using Heterogeneous Components of Different Frameworks
Robotic software developers may need to use different component-based software frameworks, such as ROS, OPRoS and OpenRTM, for developing intelligent robots, but then face challenges with interoperability, code maintainability and reusability over multiple frameworks. In this paper, we present a design and implementation of the robot manager for our robotic software framework, which helps integrate different programming frameworks easily, and minimizes the impact of framework differences and new versions. In addition, this robotic software frameworksupports connections to external systems, such as a smart home system and a sensor manager system. We designed the robot manager to fulfil four specifications: interoperability, compatibility, heterogeneous systems, and Application Program Interface (API) abstraction. The framework enables the integration of different applications with components from different frameworks. It also supports communication between heterogeneous robots. Three case studies were evaluated. Firstly, we developed two healthcare service robots with different programming languages. Secondly, we developed two different robots, which cooperate with each other integrating components from different frameworks. Thirdly, we developed a robot application using different external systems. From these experiments, we confirmed that the proposed framework satisfies the four design concepts, which enable researchers and developers to save effort when building intelligent robots.
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