Unified Behavior Framework for Reactive Robot Control

  • Brian G. Woolley
  • Gilbert L. PetersonEmail author


Behavior-based systems form the basis of autonomous control for many robots. In this article, we demonstrate that a single software framework can be used to represent many existing behavior based approaches. The unified behavior framework presented, incorporates the critical ideas and concepts of the existing reactive controllers. Additionally, the modular design of the behavior framework: (1) simplifies development and testing; (2) promotes the reuse of code; (3) supports designs that scale easily into large hierarchies while restricting code complexity; and (4) allows the behavior based system developer the freedom to use the behavior system they feel will function the best. When a hybrid or three layer control architecture includes the unified behavior framework, a common interface is shared by all behaviors, leaving the higher order planning and sequencing elements free to interchange behaviors during execution to achieve high level goals and plans. The framework’s ability to compose structures from independent elements encourages experimentation and reuse while isolating the scope of troubleshooting to the behavior composition. The ability to use elemental components to build and evaluate behavior structures is demonstrated using the Robocode simulation environment. Additionally, the ability of a reactive controller to change its active behavior during execution is shown in a goal seeking robot implementation.


Behavior-based robotics Reactive control architecture Software design patterns Software frameworks 


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Copyright information

© US Government 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringAir Force Institute of TechnologyWright-Patterson AFBUSA

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