Middleware for cooperative mobile robots

Project developmentStefan Schemmer, Martin Gergeleit, Thomas Ihme
Project directorProf. Dr. Edgar Nett
Project typeDrittmittelprojekt
Project term01.07.2001 - 30.06.2003

In this project, a middleware especially suited for the cooperation of mobile robots is developed. This middleware constitutes a layer that handles the communication, which is necessary for cooperation, and integrates the heterogeneous components of the overall system. Furthermore, it does this in such a way that the necessary real-time and fault-tolerance requirements are observed. As the considered systems are mobile, the first step towards such a middleware must be to provide an efficient communication on a wireless medium. Starting from first promising results gained with the IEEE 802.11 Standard technology, our approach is to solve this problem by developing fault-tolerant real-time group communication protocols. For the evaluation of the applied methods and their implementation, a distributed sensor fusion will be used as a representative application. For this purpose, the pre-processed signals of the different sensors, such as laserscanner, camera, or odometry, will be communicated among the team members and fusioned to a higher-level information. Further steps in the design of the middleware are to support the specification of Quality of Service parameters (such as fault-tolerance and timeliness) in the specification of components, to guarantee that such non-functional properties are observed in the concrete runtime environment, and, basing on this, the development of a general framework for the modeling and integration of the components of mobile robots.