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Design and Implementation of the Robotic Platform


The diversity of robotic research areas along with the complex requirements of hardware and software for robotic systems have always presented a challenge for system developers. Many past robot control platforms were complex, expensive, and not very user friendly. Even though several of the previous platforms were designed to provide an open architecture system, very few of the previous platforms have been reused. To address previous disadvantages, this paper describes the design and implementation of the Robotic Platform, an object-oriented development platform for robotic applications. The Robotic Platform includes hardware interfacing, servo control, trajectory generation, 3D simulation, a graphical user interface, and a math library. As opposed to distributed solutions, the Robotic Platform implements all these components in a homogenous architecture that utilizes a single hardware platform (a standard PC), a single programming language (C++), and a single operating system (the QNX Real-Time Platform) while guaranteeing deterministic real-time performance. This design leads to an open architecture that is less complex, easier to use, and easier to extend. Particularly, the area of multiple cooperating robots benefits from this kind of architecture, since the Robotic Platform achieves a high integration of its components and provides a simple and flexible means of communication. The architecture of the Robotic Platform builds on the following state-of-the-art technologies and general purpose components to further increase simplicity and reliability: (i) PC technology, (ii) the QNX Real-Time Platform, (iii) the Open Inventor library, (iv) object-oriented design, and (v) the QMotor control environment.

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Loffler, M.S., Chitrakaran, V. & Dawson, D.M. Design and Implementation of the Robotic Platform. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems 39, 105–129 (2004).

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  • robot control
  • PC
  • real-time
  • object-oriented
  • QNX