PeRL STUDIES AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION & MAPPING FOR MOBILE ROBOTS IN A PRIORI UNKNOWN ENVIRONMENTS.

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Development of a flexible command and control software architecture for marine robotic applications

Summary


Brian S. Bingham, Jeffrey M. Walls and Ryan M. Eustice, Development of a flexible command and control software architecture for marine robotic applications. Marine Technology Society Journal, 45(3):25-36, 2011.

Abstract

This paper reports the implementation of a supervisory control framework and modular software architecture built around the lightweight communication and marshalling (LCM) publish/subscribe message passing system. In particular, we examine two diverse marine robotics applications using this modular system: (i) the development of an unmanned port security vehicle, a robotic surface platform to support first responders reacting to transportation security incidents in harbor environments, and (ii) the adaptation of a commercial off-the-shelf autonomous underwater vehicle (the Ocean-Server Iver2) for visual feature-based navigation. In both cases, the modular vehicle software infrastructures are based around the open-source LCM software library for low-latency, real-time message passing. To elucidate the real-world application of LCM in marine robotic systems, we present the software architecture of these two successful marine robotic applications and illustrate the capabilities and flexibilities of this approach to real-time marine robotics. We present benchmarking test results comparing the throughput of LCM with the Mission-Oriented Operating Suite, another robot software system popular in marine robotics. Experimental results demonstrate the capacity of the LCM framework to make large amounts of actionable information available to the operator and to allow for distributed supervisory control. We also provide a discussion of the qualitative tradeoffs involved in selecting software infrastructure for supervisory control.

Bibtex entry

@ARTICLE { bbingham-2011a,
    AUTHOR = { Brian S. Bingham and Jeffrey M. Walls and Ryan M. Eustice },
    TITLE = { Development of a flexible command and control software architecture for marine robotic applications },
    JOURNAL = { Marine Technology Society Journal },
    YEAR = { 2011 },
    VOLUME = { 45 },
    NUMBER = { 3 },
    PAGES = { 25--36 },
}