The SmartMDSD Toolchain: An Integrated MDSD Workflow and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Robotics Software

  • Dennis Stampfer University of Applied Sciences Ulm, Germany
  • Alex Lotz University of Applied Sciences Ulm, Germany
  • Matthias Lutz University of Applied Sciences Ulm, Germany
  • Christian Schlegel University of Applied Sciences Ulm, Germany


Service robots are complex software-intensive systems that have to fulfill a diversity of tasks in open-ended environments. In order to deal with their software complexity, one should gain from the latest software systems engineering principles and tools suchthat various experts and stakeholders can smoothly interact and collaborate.One of the recent trends in service robotics is the use of Model-Driven Software Development (MDSD) approaches and the creation ofdedicated Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) for isolated problems. However, we argue that approaches addressing the overall integration challenge (i.e. systematic composition) are underrepresentedand underestimated and that DSLs need to be combined and integrated in order to realize a step change in robotics softwaredevelopment. We propose the SmartMDSD Toolchain v2 as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for robotics software development in itsthird major generation. It combines a set of DSLs and tools in one IDE that guides the stakeholders through the robotics developmentworkflow and makes concepts and methods gained trough many years of experience accessible to its users. We report on a consistentview on the overall development process and its full support in an IDE. We give details on the integration of specific DSLs (textualand graphical). Finally, we conclude with lessons learned during six years of experience with developing tools, methods and DSLs forsoftware development for service robots.