Rule-based Dynamic Safety Monitoring for Mobile Robots

Sorin Adam, Morten Larsen, Kjeld Jensen, Ulrik Pagh Schultz


Safety is a key challenge in robotics, in particular for mobile robots operating in an open and unpredictable environment. To address the safety challenge, various software-based approaches have been proposed, but none of them provide a clearly specified and isolated safety layer. In this paper, we propose that safety-critical concerns regarding the robot software be explicitly declared separately from the main program, in terms of externally observable properties of the software. Concretely, we use a Domain-Specific Language (DSL) to declaratively specify a set of safety-related rules that the software must obey, as well as corresponding corrective actions that trigger when rules are violated. Our DSL, integrated with ROS, is shown to be capable of specifying safety-related constraints, and is experimentally demonstrated to enforce safety behaviour in existing robot software. We believe our approach could be extended to other fields to similarly simplify safety certification.

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