Are Middlewares Ready for Multi-robots Systems?

  • Stefan-Gabriel Chitic
  • Julien Ponge
  • Olivier Simonin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8810)


Autonomous robot fleets are complex systems that require the interaction and communication between heterogeneous hardware and software. Despite many years of work in robotics, there is still a lack of established software architecture and middleware, in particular for large scale multi-robots systems. Many research teams are still writing specific hardware orientated software that is very tied to a robot. This vision makes sharing modules or extending existing code difficult. A robotic middleware should be designed to abstract the low-level hardware architecture, facilitate communication and integration of new software. In this paper, we present and compare seven existing middlewares capable of being used in multi-robot systems. We also present two dedicated cloud based multi-robots platforms. After this analysis, we discuss why a cloud of robots and not a cloud for robots is more suitable in a fleet context.


Multi-robot systems Middleware Robotic cloud 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alexei Makarenko, A.B., Kaupp, T.: On the benefits of making robotic software frameworks thin. In: POn the Benefits of Making Robotic Software Frameworks Thin IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2007), San Diego CA, USA, October 29-November 02 (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ando, N., Suehiro, T., Kotoku, T.: A software platform for component based RT-system development: OpenRTM-aist. In: Carpin, S., Noda, I., Pagello, E., Reggiani, M., von Stryk, O. (eds.) SIMPAR 2008. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5325, pp. 87–98. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arumugam, R., Enti, V.R., Bingbing, L., Xiaojun, W., Baskaran, K., Kong, F.F., Kumar, A.S., Meng, K.D., Kit, G.W.: Davinci: A cloud computing framework for service robots. In: 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 3084–3089. IEEE (2010)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Biggs, G., Ando, N., Kotoku, T.: Native robot software framework inter-operation. In: Ando, N., Balakirsky, S., Hemker, T., Reggiani, M., von Stryk, O. (eds.) SIMPAR 2010. LNCS, vol. 6472, pp. 180–191. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bruyninckx, H.: Simulation, modeling and programming for autonomous robots: The open source perspective. In: Carpin, S., Noda, I., Pagello, E., Reggiani, M., von Stryk, O. (eds.) SIMPAR 2008. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5325, p. 1. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Côté, C., Létourneau, D., Rai’evsky, C., Brosseau, Y., Michaud, F.: Using MARIE for mobile robot component development and integration (April 2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Elkady, A., Sobh, T.: Robotics middleware: A comprehensive literature survey and attribute-based bibliography. Journal of Robotics (2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ferber, J.: Multi-Agent Systems. An Introduction to Distributed Artificial Intelligence. Addison Wesley, London (1999)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Frénot, S., Le Mouël, F., Ponge, J., Salagnac, G.: Various Extensions for the Ambient OSGi framework. In: Adamus Workshop in ICPS, Berlin, Allemagne (July 2010)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Han, S., Sook Kim, M., Park, H.S.: Open software platform for robotic services. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering 9(3), 467–481 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hunziker, D., Gajamohan, M., Waibel, M., D’Andrea, R.: Rapyuta: The roboearth cloud engine. In: Robotics and Automation, ICRA (2013)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Johns, K., Taylor, T.: Professional Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. Wrox Press Ltd., Birmingham (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kraetzschmar, G.K., Utz, H., Sablatnög, S., Enderle, S., Palm, G.: Miro - middleware for cooperative robotics. In: Birk, A., Coradeschi, S., Tadokoro, S. (eds.) RoboCup 2001. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 2377, pp. 411–416. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kranz, M., Rusu, R.B., Maldonado, A., Beetz, M., Schmidt, A.: A player/stage system for context-aware intelligent environments (2006)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Legras, F., Glad, A., Simonin, O., Charpillet, F.: Authority sharing in a swarm of UAVs: Simulation and experiments with operators. In: Carpin, S., Noda, I., Pagello, E., Reggiani, M., von Stryk, O. (eds.) SIMPAR 2008. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5325, pp. 293–304. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Manso, L., Bachiller, P., Bustos, P., Núñez, P., Cintas, R., Calderita, L.: RoboComp: A tool-based robotics framework. In: Ando, N., Balakirsky, S., Hemker, T., Reggiani, M., von Stryk, O. (eds.) SIMPAR 2010. LNCS, vol. 6472, pp. 251–262. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Martínez, J., Romero-Garcés, A., Manso, L., Bustos, P.: Improving a robotics framework with real-time and high-performance features. In: Ando, N., Balakirsky, S., Hemker, T., Reggiani, M., von Stryk, O. (eds.) SIMPAR 2010. LNCS, vol. 6472, pp. 263–274. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mohamed, N., Al-Jaroodi, J., Jawhar, I.: A review of middleware for networked robots. International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security (5) (2009)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
  20. 20.
    Quigley, M., Conley, K., Gerkey, B., Faust, J., Foote, T., Leibs, J., Wheeler, R., Ng, A.Y.: Ros: an open-source robot operating system. In: ICRA Workshop on Open Source Software, vol. 3 (2009)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    RobotEarth. A worldwide web for robots (2014),
  22. 22.
    ROS. Robot operating system (2014),
  23. 23.
    Smart, W.D.: Is a common middleware for robotics possible? In: Proceedings of the IROS 2007 Workshop on Measures and Procedures for the Evaluation of Robot Architectures and Middleware. Citeseer (2007)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tenorth, M., Perzylo, A.C., Lafrenz, R., Beetz, M.: The roboearth language: Representing and exchanging knowledge about actions, objects, and environments. In: 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 1284–1289. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Torkestani, J.A.: A highly reliable and parallelizable data distribution scheme for data grids. Future Generation Computer Systems 29(2), 509–519 (2013); Special section: Recent advances in e-ScienceGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Valle, D., Nuno, E., Basañez, L., Arana-Daniel, N.: Consensus of networks of nonidentical robots with flexible joints, variable time-delays and immeasurable velocities. In: IROS, pp. 5878–5883 (2013)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Xu, G., Xu, F., Ma, H.: Deploying and researching hadoop in virtual machines (August 2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan-Gabriel Chitic
    • 1
  • Julien Ponge
    • 1
  • Olivier Simonin
    • 1
  1. 1.INSA-Lyon, CITI-INRIAUniversité de LyonVilleurbanneFrance

Personalised recommendations