ControlShell: A Real-Time Software Framework
Forge an innovative, powerful real-time software framework
and development environment. The framework will be shaped by the
simultaneous development of cogent machine capabilities: experimental
on-line motion planning and control in a dynamic environment and deft
coordination of multiple interacting mechanisms and sensors.
The research will be build on ControlShell, originally developed at
the Stanford Aerospace Robotics Laboratory and now marketed by
Real-Time Innovations, Inc. The research will add fundamental new
capabilities, including network-extensible data flow control to allow
scalable support for distributed systems and a graphical environment
to enable rapid prototyping and increased productivity. The concurrent
development of this tool and experimental robotic applications is
aimed at ensuring high-quality architectural design and producing
- On-line distributed planning.
- Component-based framework for real-time software.
- Network extensible data-flow architecture for planning and control.
- Our work in distributed planning will provide machines with
on-line motion planning autonomy. This will incorporate--for the
first time--a capability that requires provably complex computations
into a real-time system . This result should be generically
applicable to solving computationally "hard" problems on-line in a
- Our component-based approach to real-time software development
will revolutionize the generation, maintenance and sharing of
real-time software. Our approach of concurrent development and
operational testing of both system and application software will
insure a high-quality architectural design, and embed fundamental new
contributions to the science of intelligent machine control into
reusable software components.
- Our highly-scalable distributed data-flow architecture will
enable new, previously unachievable levels of vertical integration of
complex control and planning systems. This will permit high-level
task directions to be integrated with on-line motion planning and deft
control into complete systems capable of interaction with a dynamic,
Summary of the Main Result Obtained In the Past Year:
- Have completed the redesign of the two cooperative robot arms.
- Have experimented planning distribution along several axes we
- Have developed a general manipulation planner for multiple robot
manipulators in 3D environments.
- Have developed an online manipulation planner suitable for
our real-time control architecture.
Summary of the Main Result Obtained In the Tenure of This Project:
- Have completed the design of the initial interface between
planning, control, and world modeling for the multi-robot manipulation
- Have developed a linear-time algorithm to compute a
time-parameterized path of a robot given a list of via-points. This
algorithm has been implemented as a ControlShell component, and is in
the process of being proven experimentally on the robotic hardware.
- Have designed and implemented a performant polynomial-time
landmark-based motion planner for mobile robot navigation with
This research is funded by Darpa/Navy Contract No. N00014-92-J-1809
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