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Computers 2019, 8(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers8010025

Concepts of a Modular System Architecture for Distributed Robotic Systems

IDiAL Institute, Dortmund University of Applied Science and Arts, 44227 Dortmund, Germany
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Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract

Modern robots often use more than one processing unit to solve the requirements in robotics. Robots are frequently designed in a modular manner to fulfill the possibility to be extended for future tasks. The use of multiple processing units leads to a distributed system within one single robot. Therefore, the system architecture is even more important than in single-computer robots. The presented concept of a modular and distributed system architecture was designed for robotic systems. The architecture is based on the Operator–Controller Module (OCM). This article describes the adaption of the distributed OCM for mobile robots considering the requirements on such robots, including, for example, real-time and safety constraints. The presented architecture splits the system hierarchically into a three-layer structure of controllers and operators. The controllers interact directly with all sensors and actuators within the system. For that reason, hard real-time constraints need to comply. The reflective operator, however, processes the information of the controllers, which can be done by model-based principles using state machines. The cognitive operator is used to optimize the system. The article also shows the exemplary design of the DAEbot, a self-developed robot, and discusses the experience of applying these concepts on this robot. View Full-Text
Keywords: robotics; mobile robots; distributed systems; system architectures; operator–controller module (OCM); health monitoring; modular systems; single-board computer (SBC); cloud computing robotics; mobile robots; distributed systems; system architectures; operator–controller module (OCM); health monitoring; modular systems; single-board computer (SBC); cloud computing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jahn, U.; Wolff, C.; Schulz, P. Concepts of a Modular System Architecture for Distributed Robotic Systems. Computers 2019, 8, 25.

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