RDIS: a domain model for generalizing the mappings between robotic software frameworks and robotic devices

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University of Alabama Libraries

Researchers, hobbyists, and industrial professionals alike have moved toward a framework-based approach to robotics application development. This allows robotic applications to be written for the domain of the framework and benefits the application developer as it offers domain-specific abstractions and reusability of applications. However, a framework must still know how to translate its domain-specific concepts to the device-specific concepts. One can do this in a general-purpose programming language, but this strategy is not sustainable because drivers must be hand-crafted for each possible permutation of framework and device. Therefore, exploring the appropriate level of abstraction for device drivers is interesting and may enable a description of a robot for it to be used with any robotics framework. A domain model for defining these mappings has been developed. The domain model allows descriptions of robots to be reused between frameworks. The specific mechanism for this is to describe the domain model using a textual syntax and interpret the description at run-time. One may then define the transformation of framework domain concepts to concepts native to the domain model as an adapter. Thus, any appropriately enabled robotic framework and device can communicate with one another. As further evidence for the viability of the domain model, it was implemented formally using the model-driven tool \atommm. One may then design the model at a high-level directly in the terms introduced by the model without the mental load posed by the textual syntax. As well, the tool presents a preliminary approach for generating adapters for frameworks. Future directions for the domain model include kinematic state modeling. A literature review and a preliminary approach for this has also been prepared.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Robotics, Computer science