Skip to main content
Log in

Development environments for autonomous mobile robots: A survey

  • Published:
Autonomous Robots Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Robotic Development Environments (RDEs) have come to play an increasingly important role in robotics research in general, and for the development of architectures for mobile robots in particular. Yet, no systematic evaluation of available RDEs has been performed; establishing a comprehensive list of evaluation criteria targeted at robotics applications is desirable that can subsequently be used to compare their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, there are no practical evaluations of the usability and impact of a large selection of RDEs that provides researchers with the information necessary to select an RDE most suited to their needs, nor identifies trends in RDE research that suggest directions for future RDE development.

This survey addresses the above by selecting and describing nine open source, freely available RDEs for mobile robots, evaluating and comparing them from various points of view. First, based on previous work concerning agent systems, a conceptual framework of four broad categories is established, encompassing the characteristics and capabilities that an RDE supports. Then, a practical evaluation of RDE  usability in designing, implementing, and executing robot architectures is presented. Finally, the impact of specific RDEs on the field of robotics is addressed by providing a list of published applications and research projects that give concrete examples of areas in which systems have been used. The comprehensive evaluation and comparison of the nine RDEs concludes with suggestions of how to use the results of this survey and a brief discussion of future trends in RDE design.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Exclusion of the listed systems is only indicative of not meeting the specified constraints; further examination is encouraged.

  2. Almost all of the selected RDEs are under constant revision and more recent versions might be available.

  3. While publications exist for ARIA's ancestral software, the authors were explicitly requested to not refer to it.

  4. Eiter's economical aspects category will not be considered here, except for the documentation criterion, as the selected RDEs are both open source and research-oriented. Related considerations, such as the cost of application development, RDE maintenance or modification, training, etc. are, however, addressed by the usability evaluation in Section 5.

  5. Our stages are similar to Ricordel and Demazeau (2000), although we subsume the analysis category as part of the design stage.

  6. While the Player server in Player/Stage can optionally be set to require authentication, it is explicitly acknowledged that the authentication is not for security, as keys are passed in plain text.

  7. We do not consider placing a sequence of commands in a shell script for execution as a single step.

  8. While disk space usage and bandwidth are important, neither is considered. We exclude disk space due to the variability of packages required, while bandwidth is not addressed due to the single-host nature of the “low-level” architecture.

  9. Binary and ternary values range from 0 to 2 so as to not introduce a bias towards ternary criteria.

  10. The impact of ACE/TAO is acknowledged in the user manual thusly: “The CORBA environment and the Miro framework seem to raise the bar for an easy entry into robot programming. While this can hardly be denied they facilitate tremendously the task of writing distributed programs.”


  • Activmedia robotics mobilerobots developer support. 2005.

  • Altmann, J., Gruber, F., Klug, L., Stockner, W., and Weippl, E. 2001. Using mobile agents in real world: A survey and evaluation of agent platforms. In T. Wagner (Ed.), Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Infrastructure for Agents, MAS, and Scalable MAS at the 5th International Conference on Autonomous Agents. ACM Press, Montreal, Canada, pp. 33–39.

  • Andronache, V. and Scheutz, M. 2004a. ADE—a tool for the development of distributed architectures for virtual and robotic agents. In Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium “From Agent Theory to Agent Implementation.”

  • Andronache, V. and Scheutz, M. 2004b. Integrating theory and practice: The agent architecture framework APOC and its development environment ADE. In Proceedings of AAMAS 2004.

  • Arkin, R. and Balch, T. 1997. AuRA: principles and practice in review. JETAI, 9(2–3):175–189.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arkin, R., Collins, T., and Endo, T. 1999, Tactical mobile robot mission specification and execution. Mobile Robots XIV, pp. 150–163.

  • Arkin, R., Endo, Y., Lee, B., MacKenzie, D., and Martinson, E. 2003, Multistrategy learning methods for multirobot systems. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Multi-robot Systems, Washington, DC, pp. 137–150.

  • Austin, D. 2004. Dave's Robotic Operating System.

  • Balch, T. 2000. Hierarchic social entropy: An information theoretic measure of robot group diversity. Autonomous Robots, 8(3):209–238.

    Google Scholar 

  • Balch, T. 2002. Teambots Proposal. trb/robocupjr/.

  • Balch, T. 2004. Teambots.

  • Balch, T. and Arkin, R. 1999. Behavior-based formation control for multi-robot teams. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 20(5).

  • Balch, T. and Ram, A. 1998. Integrating robotics research with JavaBots. In Working Notes of the AAAI 1998 Spring Symposium.

  • Bantz, D., Bisdikian, C., Challener, D., Karidis, J., Mastrianni, S., and Mohindra, A. 2003. Autonomic personal computing. IBM Systems Journal, 42(1):165–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baum, W., Bredenfeld, A., Hans, M., Hertzberg, J., Ritter, A., and Schönherr, F. 2002. Integrating heterogeneous robot and software components by agent technology. Robotik 2002 Leistungsstand - Anwendungen - Visionen - Trends, pp. 655–660.

  • Beaudry, E., Brosseau, Y., Côté, C., Raïevsky, C., Létourneau, D., and Kabanza, F. 2005. Reactive planning in a motivated behavioural architecture. In Proceedings American Association for Artificial Intelligence Conference, pp. 1242–1247.

  • Bellifemine, F., Poggi, A., and Rimassa, G. 1999. JADE—a FIPA-compliant agent framework. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference and Exhibition on the Practical Application of Intelligent Agents and Multi-agents. London, pp. 97–108.

  • Bentivegna, D. and Atkeson, C. 2002. Learning How to Behave from Observing Others (SAB02 Workshop on Motor Control in Humans and Robots: on the interplay of real brains and artificial devices).

  • Bergbreiter, S. and Pister, K. 2003. CotsBots: An off-the-shelf platform for distributed robotics. In Proceedings of 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2003), Vol. 3, pp. 1632–1637.

  • Bergbreiter, S. and Pister, K. 2005. CotsBots: An Off-the-shelf Distributed Robot Platform.

  • Biggs, G. and MacDonald, B. 2003. A survey of robot programming systems. In Proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation. Brisbane, Australia.

  • Bitting, E., Carter, J., and Ghorbani, A. 2003. Multiagent systems development kits: An evaluation. In Proceedings of the 1st Annual Conference on Communication Networks and Services Research (CNSR 2003). Moncton, Canada, pp. 101–107.

  • Blank, D., Kumar, D., and Meeden, L. 2002. A developmental approach to intelligence. In S. Conlon (Ed.), Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Midwest Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Society Conference.

  • Blank, D., Kumar, D., Meeden, L., and Marshall, J. 2005. Bringing up robot: Fundamental mechanisms for creating a self-motivated, self-organizing architecture. Cybernetics and Systems, 36(2).

  • Blank, D., Kumar, D., Meeden, L., and Yanco, H. 2003. Pyro: A python-based versatile programming environment for teaching robotics. Journal on Educational Resources in Computing, 3(4):1–15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blank, D., Kumar, D., Meeden, L., and Yanco, H. to appear. Pyro: A python-based versatile programming environment for teaching robotics. ACM Journal on Educational Resources in Computing (JERIC).

  • Breazeal, C. 2003. Towards sociable robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 42(3–4):167–175.

  • Brooks, A., Kaupp, T., Makarenko, A., Oreback, A., and Williams, S. 2005. Towards component-based robotics. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2005), pp. 163–168.

  • Brooks, R. 1990. The Behavior Language: User's Guide (Tech. Rep. No. AIM-1227). Massachusettes Institute of Technology.

  • Brooks, R. 1991. Intelligence without representation. Artificial Intelligence Journal, 47:139–159.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruce, A., Nourbakhsh, I., and Simmons, R. 2002. The role of expressiveness and attention in human-robot interaction. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

  • Bruyninckx, H. 2001. Open robot control software: The OROCOS project. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2001, Vol. 3, pp. 2523–2528.

  • Bruyninckx, H. 2005. The OROCOS project.

  • Chaimowicz, L., Cowley, A., Sabella, V., and Taylor, C. 2003, ROCI: A distributed framework for multi-robot perception and control. In Proceedings of 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2003), Vol. 3, pp. 266–271.

  • The CMU sphinx group open source speech recognition engines. 2004. The Sphinx Group at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Collins, T., Arkin, R., Cramer, M., and Endo, Y. 2000. Field results for tactical mobile robot missions. In Unmanned Systems 2000, Orlando, FL.

  • Common object request broker architecture (CORBA/IIOP). 2005. Object Management Group.

  • Côté, C. 2005. Mobile and Autonomous Robotics Integration Environment (MARIE).

  • Côté, C., Brosseau, Y., Létourneau, D., Raievsky, C., and Michaud, F. 2006. Robotic software integration using MARIE. International Journal on Advanced Robotics Systems, 3(1):55–60.

    Google Scholar 

  • Côté, C., Létourneau, D., Michaud, F., and Brosseau, Y. 2005. Software Design Patterns for Robotics: Solving Integration Problems with MARIE. Submitted for workshop to ICRA2005.

  • Côté, C., Létourneau, D., Michaud, F., Valin, J., Brosseau, Y., and Raievsky, C. 2004. Programming mobile robots using RobotFlow and MARIE. In Proceedings IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robots and Intelligent Systems.

  • Desai, M. and Yanco, H. 2005, Blending human and robot inputs for sliding scale autonomy. In Proceedings of the 14th IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication. Nashville, TN.

  • Dias, M. and Stentz, A. 2003, A comparative study between centralized, market-based, and behavioral multirobot coordination approaches. In Proceedings of 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2003), Vol. 3, pp. 2279–2284.

  • Eiter, T. and Mascardi, V. 2002. Comparing environments for developing software agents. AI Communications, 15(4):169–197.

    Google Scholar 

  • Endo, Y., MacKenzie, D., and Arkin, R. 2004, Usability evaluation of high-level user assistance for robot mission specification. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 34(2):168–180.

    Google Scholar 

  • ERSP 3.0 Robotic Development Platform. 2004. Evolution Robotics.

  • Fay, R., Kaufmann, U., Schwenker, F., and Palm, G. 2004. Learning object recognition in a NeuroBotic system. In H. Groß, K. Debes, and H. Böhme (Eds.), 3rd Workshop on Selforganization of Adaptive Behavior SOAVE 2004. Dusseldorf, VDI, pp. 198–209.

  • The Festival Speech Synthesis System. 2004. Centre for Speech Technology Research.

  • FIPA ACL Message Structure Specification (SC00061G). 2002. Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents.

  • Fleury, S., Herrb, M., and Chatila, R. 1997. Genom: A tool for the specification and the implementation of operating modules in a distributed robot architecture. In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IEEE, Vol. 2, pp. 842–848.

  • Fleury, S. and Mallet, A. 2004. LAAS Open Software for Autonomous Systems.

  • Fong, T., Kunz, C., Hiatt, L., and Bugajska, M. 2006. The human-robot interaction operating system. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human-robot Interaction (HRI2006), ACM.

  • Fong, T., Nourbakhsh, I., and Dautenhahn, K. 2003. A survey of socially interactive robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 42:143–166.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fredslund, J. and Matarić, M. 2002, A general, local algorithm for robot formations. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Special Issue on Multi-Robot Systems, 18(5):837–846.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R., and Vlissides, J. 1994. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Addison-Wesley.

  • Gassull, G. 2001. Communication Services and User Interfaces for Tele-operating Mobile Robots via the Internet. Master's thesis, University of Barcelona and University of Ulm, Neuroinformatics.

  • Gerkey, B., Howard, A., and Vaughan, R. 2005. Player/Stage.

  • Gerkey, B. and Matarić, M. 2002, Sold!: Auction methods for multi-robot coordination. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Special Issue on Multi-Robot Systems, 18(5):758–768. (Also Technical Report IRIS-01-399).

  • Gerkey, B. and Matarić, M. 2004. Are (explicit) multi-robot coordination and multi-agent coordination really so different? In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Bridging the Multi-agent and Multi-robotic Research Gap, pp. 1–3.

  • Gerkey, B., Vaughan, R., and Howard, A. 2003. The Player/Stage project: Tools for multi-robot and distributed sensor systems. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Advanced Robotics. Coimbra, Portugal, pp. 317–323.

  • Gerkey, B., Vaughan, R., Støy, K., Howard, A., Sukhatme, G., and Matarić, M. 2001, Most valuable player: A robot device server for distributed control. In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Wailea, Hawaii, pp. 1226–1231.

  • Guilbert, N., Beauregard, M., Michaud, F., and de Lafontaine, J. 2003. Emulation of collaborative driving systems using mobile robots. In Proceedings IEEE Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, pp. 856–861.

  • Hattig, M., Horswill, I., and Butler, J. 2003, Roadmap for mobile robot specifications. In Proceedings of 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2003), Vol. 3, pp. 2410–2414.

  • Heckel, F. 2005. ROLE Robotics Development Environment. fwph/role/.

  • Hoff, J. and Bekey, G. 1995. An architecture for behavior coordination learning. In IEEE International Conference on Neural Networks.

  • Horswill, I. 2000. Functional programming of behavior-based systems. Autonomous Robots, 9(1):83–93.

    Google Scholar 

  • Howard, A., Matarić, M., and Sukhatme, G. 2002. An incremental self-deployment algorithm for mobile sensor networks. Autonomous Robots Special Issue on Intelligent Embedded Systems, 13(2): 113–126.

    Google Scholar 

  • Howard, A., Matarić, M., and Sukhatme, G. 2003. Putting the ‘I’ in ‘Team’: An ego-centric approach to cooperative localization. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 868–892.

  • Howard, A., Parker, L., and Sukhatme, G. 2004, The SDR experience: Experiments with a large-scale heterogenous mobile robot team. In 9th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics 2004, Singapore.

  • Howard, A. and Roy, N. 2004. Robotics Data Set Repository (RADISH).

  • Jensen, R. and Veloso, M. 1998, Interleaving deliberative and reactive planning in dynamic multi-agent domains. In Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium on Integrated Planning for Autonomous Agent Architectures, AAAI Press.

  • JESS - the expert system shell for the java platform. 2003. Sandia National Laboratories.

  • Jia, J., Chen, W., and Xi, Y. 2004. Design and implementation of an open autonomous mobile robot system. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2004, Vol. 2, pp. 1726–1731.

  • Jones, C. and Matarić, M. 2004, Automatic synthesis of communication-based coordinated multi-robot systems. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Sendai, Japan, pp. 381–387.

  • Jung, B. and Sukhatme, G. 2002, Tracking targets using multiple robots: The effect of environment occlusion. Autonomous Robots, 13(3): 191–205.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kaupp, T. 2005. Orca Robotics.

  • Koker, R., Oz, C., Cakar, T., and Ekiz, H. 2004. A study of neural network based inverse kinematics solution for a three-joint robot. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 49(3–4):227–234.

    Google Scholar 

  • Konolige, K. 1997. COLBERT: A language for reactive control in saphira. In Proceedings of the German Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Freiburg, Germany, pp. 31–52.

  • Konolige, K. 2000. A gradient method for realtime robot control. In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robotic Systems (IROS).

  • Konolige, K. 2002. Saphira Robot Control Architecture (Tech. Rep.). Menlo Park, CA, SRI International.

  • Konolige, K., Myers, K., Ruspini, E., and Saffiotti, A. 1997. The Saphira architecture: A design for autonomy. Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence: JETAI, 9(1):215–235.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kraetzschmar, G., Gassull, G., and Uhl, K. 2004, July. Probabilistic quadtrees for variable-resolution mapping of large environments. In M. I. Ribeiro and J. Santos Victor (Eds.), Proceedings of the 5th IFAC/EURON Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles.

  • Kraetzschmar, G., Sablatnög, S., Enderle, S., Utz, H., Simon, S., and Palm, G. 2000, Integration of multiple representations and navigation concepts on autonomous mobile robots. In H. Groß, K. Debes, and H. Böhme (Eds.), Workshop SOAVE-2000: Selbstorganisation von Adaptivem Verhalten, Vol. 10/643. Ilmenau, Germany, VDI Verlag.

  • Kramer, J. and Scheutz, M. 2003. GLUE—a component connecting schema-based reactive to higher-level deliberative layers for autonomous agents. In R. Weber (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th International FLAIRS Conference, AAAI Press, pp. 22–26.

  • Labonté, D., Michaud, F., Boissy, P., Corriveau, H., Cloutier, R., and Roux, M. 2005. Evaluation Methodology of User Interfaces for Teleoperated Mobile Robots in Home Environments (Submitted to IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation).

  • LaFary, M. and Newton, C. 2005. Aria html Documentation.

  • Laukkanen, M. 1999. Evaluation of FIPA-Compliant Agent Platforms. Unpublished master's thesis, Lappeenranta University of Technology.

  • Educational Division—Mindstorms for Schools. 2005. LEGO.

  • Lemay, M., Michaud, F., Létourneau, D., and Valin, J. 2004. Autonomous initialization of robot formations. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

  • Lindstrom, M., Orebäck, A., and Christensen, H. 2000, BERRA: A research architecture for service robots. In Proceedings of International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Vol. 4, pp. 3278–3283.

  • Logan, B. 1998. Classifying agent systems. In B. Logan and J. Baxter (Eds.), Proceedings of AAAI-98 Conference Workshop on Software Tools for Developing Agents. Menlo Park, California, American Association for Artificial Intelligence.

  • Long, M., Murphy, R., and Parker, L. 2003. Distributed multi-agent diagnosis and recovery from sensor failures. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 3:2506–2513.

  • Lucas, G. 2004. The Rossum Project.

  • MacDonald, B., Yuen, D., Wong, S., Woo, E., Gronlund, R., and Collett, T. 2003. Robot programming environments. In ENZCon2003 10th Electronics New Zealand Conference. University of Waikato, Hamilton.

  • MacKenzie, D. and Arkin, R. 1993, Nov. Formal specification for behavior-based mobile robots. Mobile Robots VIII, pp. 94–104.

  • MacKenzie, D. and Arkin, R. 1998. Evaluating the usability of robot programming toolsets. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 17(4):381–401.

    Google Scholar 

  • MacKenzie, D., Arkin, R., and Cameron, J. 1997. Multiagent mission specification and execution. Autonomous Robots, 4(1):29–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maes, P. 1990. Situated agents can have goals. In P. Maes (Ed.), Designing Autonomous Agents. MIT Press, pp. 49–70.

  • Mallet, A., Fleury, S., and Bruyninckx, H. 2002. A specification of generic robotics software components: future evolutions of GenoM in the Orocos context. In International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Systems, IEEE.

  • Matarić, M. 2004, Robotics education for all ages. In Proceedings, AAAI Spring Symposium on Accessible, Hands-on AI and Robotics Education.

  • Mayfield, J., Labrou, Y., and Finin, T. 1996. Evaluation of KQML as an agent communication language. In M. Wooldridge, J. P. Müller, and M. Tambe (Eds.), Proceedings on the IJCAI Workshop on Intelligent Agents II: Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages, Springer-Verlag, Vol. 1037, pp. 347–360.

  • Melchior, N. and Smart, W. 2004. A framework for robust mobile robot systems. In D. W. Gage (Ed.), Proceedings of SPIE: Mobile Robots XVII, Vol. 5609.

  • Metta, G., Fitzpatrick, P., and Natale, L. 2006. YARP: Yet another robot platform. International Journal on Advanced Robotics Systems, 3(1):43–48.

    Google Scholar 

  • Michaud, F. 2005. Engineering Education and the Design of Intelligent Mobile Robots for Real Use (Submitted to International Journal of Intelligent Automation and Soft Computing, Special Issue on Global Look at Robotics Education).

  • Michaud, F. and Létourneau, D. 2004. Robotflow: Open Source Robotics Toolkit for Flowdesigner.

  • Michel, O. 2004. Webots: Professional mobile robot simulation. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 1(1): 39–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miro - Middleware for Robots. 2005. Robotics Group, University of Ulm.

  • Missionlab v6.0. 2003. Mobile Robot Laboratory.

  • Modular Controller Architecture. 2005.

  • Montemerlo, M., Roy, N., and Thrun, S. 2003a. CARMEN, Carnegie Mellon Robot Navigation Toolkit.

  • Montemerlo, M., Roy, N., and Thrun, S. 2003b. Perspectives on standardization in mobile robot programming: The carnegie mellon navigation (CARMEN) toolkit. In IROS 2003. Las Vegas, NV, Vol. 3. pp. 2436–2441.

  • Moshkina, L. and Arkin, R. 2003. On TAMEing robots. In IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Vol. 4, pp. 3949–3959.

  • Moshkina, L., Endo, Y., and Arkin, R. 2006. Usability evaluation of an automated mission repair mechanism for mobile robot mission specification. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human-robot Interaction (HRI2006), ACM.

  • Nesnas, I., Simmons, R., Gaines, D., Kunz, C., Diaz-Calderon, A., and Estlin, T. 2006. CLARAty: Challenges and steps toward reusable robotic software. International Journal on Advanced Robotics Systems, 3(1):23–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nesnas, I., Wright, A., Bajracharya, M., Simmons, R., and Estlin, T. 2003. CLARAty and challenges of developing interoperable robotic software. In Proceedings of 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2003), Vol. 3, pp. 2428–2435.

  • Nguyen, G., Dang, T., Hluchy, L., Balogh, Z., Laclavik, M., and Budinska, I. 2002. Agent Platform Evaluation and Comparison (Tech. Rep.). Bratislava, Slovakia: Pellucid 5FP IST-2001-34519.

  • Nowostawski, M., Bush, G., Purvis, M., and Cranefield, S. 2000. Platforms for agent-oriented software engineering. In J. Dong, J. He, and M. Purvis (Eds.), Proceedings of APSEC 2000. IEEE Computer Society Press, pp. 480–488.

  • Orebäck, A. and Christensen, H. 2003. Evaluation of architectures for mobile robotics. Autonomous Robots, 14(1):33–49.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osentoski, S., Manfredi, V., and Mahadevan, S. 2004. Learning hierarchical models of activity. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robots and Systems (IROS 2004).

  • Pellom, B. and Hacioglu, K. 2003. Recent improvements in the CU SONIC ASR system for noisy speech: The SPINE task. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP).

  • Pfeifer, R. 1988. Artificial intelligence models of emotion. In V. Hamilton, G. H. Bower, and N. H. Frijda (Eds.), Cognitive Perspectives on Emotion and Motivation, Volume 44 of Series d: Behavioural and Social Sciences. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, pp. 287–320.

  • Pineau, J., Montemerlo, M., Pollack, M., Roy, N., and Thrun, S. 2002. Towards robotic assistants in nursing homes: challenges and results. In T. Fong and I. Nourbakhsh (Eds.), Workshop Notes (WS8: Workshop on Robot as Partner: An Exploration of Social Robots), IEEE International Conference on Robots and Systems. IEEE, Lausanne, Switzerland.

  • Poggi, A., Rimassa, G., and Turci, P. 2002. What agent middleware can (and should) do for you. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 16(9–10): 677–698.

    Google Scholar 

  • Provost, J., Kuipers, B., and Miikkulainen, R. 2004. Self-organizing perceptual and temporal abstraction for robot reinforcement learning. In AAAI-04 Workshop on Learning and Planning in Markov Processes.

  • Pyro, Python Robotics. 2005. Python Robotics.

  • Ricordel, P. and Demazeau, Y. 2000. From analysis to deployment: A multi-agent platform survey. Engineering Societies in the Agents World. Springer-Verlag, Vol. 1972, pp. 93–105.

  • Rivard, F. 2005. Localisation relative de robots mobiles opérant en groupe (Tech. Rep.). Mémoire de maîtrise, Département de génie électrique et de génie informatique, Université de Sherbrooke.

  • Russell, R. 2004. Mobile robot learning by self-observation. Autonomous Robots, 16(1):81–93.

    Google Scholar 

  • Russell, S. and Norvig, P. 2002. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 2 ed., Prentice Hall.

  • Salter, T., Michaud, F., Dautenhahn, K., Létourneau, D., and Caron, S. 2005. Recognizing interaction from a robot's perspective. In Proceedings IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, pp. 178–183.

  • Scheutz, M. 2004. APOC—An Architecture for the Analysis and Design of Complex Agents (Ed.) (Forthcoming In Darryl Davis, editor, Visions of Mind).

  • Scheutz, M. 2006. ADE—steps towards a distributed development and runtime environment for complex robotic agent architectures. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 20(4–5).

  • Scheutz, M. and Andronache, V. 2003. APOC—a framework for complex agents. In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium, AAAI Press, pp. 18–25.

  • Scheutz, M. and Andronache, V. 2004. Architectural mechanisms for dynamic changes of behavior selection strategies in behavior-based systems. IEEE Transactions of System, Man, and Cybernetics Part B: Cybernetics, 34(6).

  • Scheutz, M., Andronache, V., Kramer, J., Snowberger, P., and Albert, E. 2004. Rudy: A robotic waiter with personality. In Proceedings of AAAI Robot Workshop, AAAI Press, pp. forthcoming.

  • Scheutz, M., Schermerhorn, P., Kramer, J., and Middendorff, C. 2006. The utility of affect expression in natural language interactions in joint human-robot tasks. In Proceedings of the ACM conference on human-robot interaction (HRI2006), ACM.

  • Schmidt, D. 1994. The ADAPTIVE communication environment: An object-oriented network programming toolkit for developing communication software. In 12th Annual Sun Users Group Conference. San Francisco, CA, pp. 214–225.

  • Silva, A., Romao, A., Deugo, D., and Silva, M. da. 2001. Towards a reference model for surveying mobile agent systems. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, 4:187–231.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simmons, R. 1994. Structured control for autonomous robots. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 10(1):34–43.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simmons, R. 2004. Inter process communication (IPC).

  • Simmons, R., Apfelbaum, D., Fox, D., Goldmann, R., Haigh, K., and Musliner, D. 2000. Coordinated deployment of multiple heterogeneous robots. In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).

  • Simmons, R., Goldberg, D., Goode, A., Montemerlo, M., Roy, N., and Sellner, B. 2003. GRACE: an autonomous robot for the AAAI robot challenge. AI Mag., 24(2):51–72.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator. 2004.

  • Singh, R. and Sycara, K. 2004. Securing Multi Agent Societies (Tech. Rep. No. CMU-RI-TR-04-02). Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon.

  • Skubic, M. and and Volz, R. A. 1998. Learning force-based assembly skills from human demonstration for execution in unstructured environments. In Proceedings of International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA98), pp. 1281–1288.

  • Sloman, A. 1998. What's an AI toolkit for? In B. Logan and J. Baxter (eds.), Proceedings of the AAAI-98 Workshop on Software Tools for Developing Agents, pp. 1–10.

  • Sloman, A. 2002. Help Poprulebase.

  • Sloman, A. and Scheutz, M. 2002. A framework for comparing agent architectures. In Proceedings of UK Workshop on Computational Intelligence, pp. 169–176.

  • SOAP version 1.2. 2003. W3C XML Protocol Working Group.

  • Sprouse, J. 2005.

  • Steinfeld, A. 2004. Interface lessons for fully and semi-autonomous mobile robots. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2004, Vol. 3, pp. 2752–2757.

  • Stentz, A. 2002. CD*: A real-time resolution optimal re-planner for globally constrained problems. In Proceedings of AAAI 2002, p. 605.

  • Sycara, K., Paolucci, M., Velsen, M.V., and Giampapa, J. 2003. The RETSINA MAS infrastructure. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, 7(1):29–48.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sycara, K.P. and Zeng, D. 1996. Coordination of multiple intelligent software agents. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems, 5(2/3):181–212.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tews, A., Matarić, M., and Sukhatme, G. 2003. A scalable approach to human-robot interaction. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 1665–1670.

  • Thrun, S. 2003. Robotic mapping: A survey. In G. Lakemeyer and B. Nebel (Eds.), Exploring Artificial Intelligence in the New Millennium. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, USA, pp. 1–35.

  • Thrun, S., Fox, D., Burgard, W., and Dellaert, F. 2000. Robust monte carlo localization for mobile robots. Artificial Intelligence, 128(1–2):99–141.

    Google Scholar 

  • Utz, H., Kraetzschmar, G., Mayer, G., and Palm, G. 2005. Hierarchical behavior organization. In Proceedings of IROS 2005. Edmonton, Canada.

  • Utz, H., Sablatnög, S., Enderle, S., and Kraetzschmar, G. 2002. Miro—middleware for mobile robot applications. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Special Issue on Object-Oriented Distributed Control Architectures, 18(4):493–497.

    Google Scholar 

  • Utz, H., Stulp, F., and Mühlenfeld, A. 2004. Sharing belief in teams of heterogeneous robots. In D. Nardi, M. Riedmiller, and C. Sammut (Eds.), RoboCup-2004: The eighth RoboCup Competitions and Conferences, Springer Verlag.

  • Valin, J. and Létourneau, D. 2004. Flowdesigner.

  • Varakantham, P., Gangwani, S., and Karlapalem, K. 2002. On handling component and transaction failures in multi agent systems. SIGecom Exch, 3(1):32–43.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vaughan, R., Gerkey, B., and Howard, A. 2003. On device abstractions for portable, resuable robot code. In Proceedings of IROS 2003, Las Vegas, Nevada, pp. 2121–2427.

  • Vijayakumar, S., D'souza, A., Shibata, T., Conradt, J., and Schaal, S. 2002. Statistical learning for humanoid robots. Autonomous Robots, 12(1):55–69.

    Google Scholar 

  • Volpe, R., Nesnas, I., Estlin, T., Mutz, D., Petras, R., and Das, H. 2001. The CLARAty architecture for robotic autonomy. In Proceedings of the 2001 IEEE Aerospace Conference.

  • Walters, D. 2003. Open automation project (OAP).

  • Webots 5. 2005. Cyberbotics.

  • White box robotics. 2005. White Box Robotics.

  • Wolf, D. and Sukhatme, G. 2005. Mobile robot simultaneous localization and mapping in dynamic environments. Autonomous Robots, 19(1):53–65.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to James Kramer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kramer, J., Scheutz, M. Development environments for autonomous mobile robots: A survey. Auton Robot 22, 101–132 (2007).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: