Control Architecture of Robots 2010   

5th National Conference on
“Control Architecture of Robots”

   May 18-19, 2010 - Douai, FRANCE

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Presentations and Papers

18th May 2010

Tutorial Title: robuBOX-Kompaï: Open Source software for companion robots

Authors: François Hirigoyen, Consuelo Granata

Title: APM(Robot): Towards a platform for meta-reasoning in robotic applications

Authors: Cédric Dinont, François Gaillard and Michaël Soulignac (ISEN, Lille)
Abstract: This paper describes the design of APM(Robot), a platform aiming to provide meta-reasoning capabilities to robotic agents. Meta-reasoning could facilitate integration tasks in robotic applications, involving heterogeneous modules or robotic systems. APM(Robot) is based on APM, an agent-oriented library providing generic services for communication and storage tasks. APM allows reifying communication concepts such as communication channels, languages and contacts. It also allows carrying out distributed and event-based data stores.

Title: Management of Several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Towards Several Objectives

Authors: Michel Barat, Raphael Cuisinier, Franck Dietrich, Jean-Loup Farges, Guillaume Infantes, Alain Michel, Stephanie Prudhomme and Pascal Taillandier (ONERA, Chatillon)
Abstract: The work presented in this paper proposes a dynamical hierarchical architecture for controlling a system which includes several robots and several objects to be detected, identified, localized and treated during the course of the mission. The architecture presents three levels: The upper level is devoted to the control of areas, the intermediate level to the control of objects and the lower lever to the control of robots. Modules of all levels include planning and execution control sub-modules. Specific issues arising during the development of the architecture are presented: database management, observation management, situation tracking, planning, execution and reaction to disruptive events and communication management. Finally, the first validation step foreseen for the architecture will use a simulation platform. The framework, actors and metrics of the simulation are presented.

Title: MASL: a Langage for Controlling Robotic Multi-Agent Systems

Authors: Michel Dubois, Yann Le Guyadec and Dominique Duhaut (VALORIA - Vannes)

Title: ORCCAD robot controller model and its support using Eclipse Modeling tools

Authors: Soraya Arias, Florine Boudin, Roger Pissard-Gibollet, and Daniel Simon (INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes)
Abstract: Orccad model has been designed to structure robot architecture according to two aspects : continuous time aspects, related to control laws, carefully merged with discrete-time aspects related to control switches and exception handling. CAD tools have been provided to help the users along the steps of the design, verification, implementation and exploita- tion processes. In this paper, we present how Eclipse Modeling tools are adapted to provide a complete CASE robotics tool-set to support this model from design to code generation. This approach allows to focus on the model rather than the infrastructure.

Title: Automatic generation of discrete handlers of real-time continuous control tasks

Authors: Soufyane Aboubekr, Gwenaël Delaval, Roger Pissard-Gibollet, Eric Rutten, and Daniel Simon (INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes)
Abstract: We present a novel technique for designing discrete, logical control loops, on top of continuous control tasks, ensuring logical safety properties of the tasks sequencings and mode changes. We define this new handler on top of the real-time executives built with the Orccad design environment for control systems, which is applied, e.g. to robotics and real-time networked control. It features structures of control tasks, each equipped with a local automaton, used for the reactive, event-based management of its activity and modes. The additional discrete handler manages the interactions between tasks, concerning, e.g., mutual exclusions, forbidden or imposed sequences. We use a new reactive programming language, with constructs for finite-state machines and data-flow nodes, and a mechanism of behavioural contracts, which involves discrete controller synthesis. The result is a discrete control loop, on top of the continuous control loops, all integrated in a coherent real-time architecture. Our approach is illustrated and validated experimentally with the case study of a robot arm.

Title: Tag: Job Control in urbiscript

Authors: Jean-Christophe Baillie, Akim Demaille, Quentin Hocquet, and Matthieu Nottale (Gostai, Paris)
Abstract: The Urbi software platform for the development of applications for robots relies heavily on concurrency. While concurrent programs have existed for decades, there is still no universal consensus for the proper means to control the complexity of parallelism. This paper presents some innovating features of Urbi: syntactic constructs to support concurrent jobs, and tags, used to control them.

Title: Indirect cooperation between mobile robots through an active environment

Authors: Olivier Simonin and François Charpillet (INRIA Nancy Grand Est)
Abstract: In this work we study indirect robots' perception and cooperation by enabling a way of communication through the environment. It consists in paving the floor with communicating tiles, each one beeing connected to its neighbors and implementing an autonomous process. This regular network constitutes a grid world in which robots can read and write information. So bio-inspired models using marking of the environment, such as digital pheromones, can be implemented with real robots. We present experimental results showing the interest of the approach in multi-robot problems, by using message diffusion and pheromone evaporation processes.

Title: Complex Tasks Allocation for Multi Robot Teams under Communication Constraints

Authors: Hung CAO, Simon LACROIX, Félix INGRAND, and Rachid ALAMI (CNRS / LAAS, Toulouse)
Abstract: The Multirobot Task Allocation (MRTA) paradigm is widely used in multirobot cooperation schemes, e.g. for observation, surveillance and tracking missions. Market-based approaches have yielded effective distributed solutions for such missions, showing the ability to manage heterogeneous, dynamic and robust robot teams. Two major challenges remain however poorly tackled: the management of inter-robot and inter-task communication constraints, and the use of a rich task formalism to model complex missions. This paper presents our investigations to treat these two aspects. The inter-robot and inter-task communication constraints are explicitly handled in the task allocation process, through simple geometric models and thanks to temporal scheduling skills. Rich tasks are allocated using a tree-based task formalism that allows to treat complex missions with task ordering. Current work has shown it to be able to handle more complex tasks and to give better solution than MRTA systems working on simple task structures. In our work we will try to go further in this investigation.

Title: Maintaining Connectivity in Multi-Robot Systems Through Connectivity Awareness

Authors: Le Van Tuan, Noury Bouraqadi, Serge Stinckwich, Victor Moraru, and Arnaud Doniec (Ecole des Mines de Douai - IRD Hanoï)
Abstract: Maintaining the network connectivity in mobile Multi-Robot Systems (MRSs) is a key issue in many robotic applications. In our view, the solution to this problem consists of two main steps: (i) making robots aware of the network connectivity; and (ii), making use of this knowledge in order to plan robots tasks without compromising connectivity. In this paper, we present an application-independent distributed algorithm executed on individual robots to build the connectivity awareness. So, robots can plan their motions while keeping connected.

Title: Multi-robot exploration under communication constraint: a disCSP approach

Authors: Arnaud Doniec, Noury Bouraqadi, Michaël Defoort, Le Van Tuan, and Serge Stinckwich (Ecole des Mines de Douai - IRD Hanoï)
Abstract: Exploration of an unknown environment is one of the major applications of Multi-Robot Systems. Many works have proposed multi-robot coordination algorithms to accomplish exploration missions based on multi-agent techniques. Some of these works focus on multi-robot exploration under communication constraints. This paper is an extract of [4] in which we propose an original way to formalize and solve this issue. Our proposal relies on distributed constraint satisfaction problems (disCSP) which are an extension of classical constraint satisfaction problems (CSP). Compared to other works, our proposal is fully distributed and guaranties the exploration of an unknown environment with maintenance of connectivity between all the members of a robots' team.

19th May 2010

Invited Speaker Talk
Title: Separation of Concerns in Component-based Robotics

Author: Prof. Davide Brugali

Title: Resource-aware Composition for Component-Based Autonomous Robot Control Architectures
Authors: Olena Rogovchenko, and Jacques Malenfant (CNRS / LIP6, Paris)
Abstract: As autonomous robot control architectures grow ever more complex, providing means to build them incrementally from existing pieces of software is becoming a key issue. Component-based architectures appear as a promising solution to this challenge, yet no standard component model deals with all the constraints of autonomous robotics. Making software architectures capable of controlling a large spectrum of rapidly changing hardware components, such as sensors and actuators, is central to this end. In this paper, we propose to address more precisely this challenge by abstracting components from hardware resources through rich interfaces. Rich interfaces capture all the necessary information to compose and deploy component assemblies, as sets of constraints to be observed. Resource interfaces deal with the functional and non-functional constraints on resources, such as the calling protocol, minimal or maximal frequencies of activation, range of input or output domains, physical constraints (envelope), etc. They can represent constraints imposed by certain components, and the constraints that are satisfied by other components (in composition) and for the underlying platform reified by containers (in deployment). Formal rules can then verify the composability of components and the correctness against the deployment context by checking the entailment of the required constraints from the satisfied ones. Our current implementation relies on a constraint solver to check these first at composition time and then at deployment time.

Title: Structuring processes into abilities : an information-oriented architecture for autonomous robots

Authors: Arnaud Degroote and Simon Lacroix (CNRS / LAAS, Toulouse)
Abstract: This paper presents a framework to organize the various processes that endow a robot with autonomy. The main objectives are to allow the achievement of a variety of missions without an explicit writing of control schemes by the developer, and the possibility to augment the robot capacities without any major rewriting. The organization relies on the notion of ability, that encapsulates the means to produce various information within the complete system. The mechanisms that autonomously activate the various abilities are depicted, and illustrated in the case of an autonomous navigation mission.

Title: Reliability improvement in control architecture for mobile robots: implementation using COTAMA

Authors: B. Durand, K. Godary-Dejean, L. Lapierre, R. Passama and D. Crestani (LIRMM, Montpellier)
Abstract: This paper details the development of an adaptive control architecture permitting to improve the reliability and robustness of autonomous mobile robot. A continuous monitoring of the significant failures allows dynamically choosing the most relevant reaction ensuring the success of the mission. This adaptive behavior is implemented into the component oriented control architecture COTAMA. The key points of the specific mechanisms added to COTAMA are addressed and explained. Experimental results are proposed to illustrate the control architecture adaptive behavior.

Title: Fall detections in humanoid walk patterns using Reservoir Computing based control architecture

Authors: Rahul Kanoi, and Cédric Hartland (LRIE-EFREI, Villejuif - Vellore Institute of Technology, India)
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the use of Reservoir Computing for meta-sensor conception. In the recent years, complex and low cost robots were designed, embedding larger amounts of various sensors, thus hindering the design of control architectures. In a similar fashion to sensor fusion or smart sensors, our approach involves generating temporal meta-sensor based on actual sensors. Those meta-sensors can be trained through evolution algorithms, holding concise meanings thus easing the control architecture designer's work.

Title: Local Plan Execution and Repair in a Hierarchical Structure of Sub-Teams of Heterogeneous Autonomous Vehicles

Authors: T. Gateau, M. Barbier, and C. Lesire (ONERA, Toulouse)
Abstract: Robots have already reached a high level of autonomy. A robust cooperation in a team of robots would be the next step. In this paper, we consider a mission involving a team of heterogeneous autonomous vehicles, and we propose to make plan-repair as local as possible, in particular to manage the uncertainty on communication availability. For that, we are leaning upon a hierarchical structure of the plan and we have defined an algorithm to automatically extract the team hierarchical structure. This is intended to increase reactivity and efficiency of the team in front of disturbing events at execution time, particularly concerning communication constraints.

Last Update : May 12th, 2010