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Robotics and Process Control

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In collaboration with Lund University the iRP organizes the ICRA 2010 Workshop on Innovative Robot Control Architectures for Demanding (Research) Applications - How to Modify and Enhance Commercial Controllers



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General Information

Half-day workshop at the IEEE 2010 International Conference on Robotics and Automation(External), Anchorage, Alaska
Date: Monday, May 3rd, 9:00am - 1:15pm

Abstract

Numerous demanding robotics applications and research projects employing commercial manipulators require high-rate low-level interfaces to the robot hardware. Often the performance of robotics systems and the quality of research results could be improved significantly by employing an appropriate low-level control interface to the robot hardware instead of the original controller. The controllers provided by manufacturers often lack high-rate low-latency communication interfaces - if a low-level control interface and sufficient computing power are provided at all. Modifying commercial robot controllers or even developing open robot controllers for commercial manipulators requires expert knowledge in several fields. Unfortunately, concrete implementations are hardly described in literature and thus this endeavor poses a high obstacle for many research groups who are not primarily concerned with electronics and control engineering.

This workshop will provide hands-on advice on how to implement open control interfaces for commercial manipulators of several popular manufacturers. Moreover, it will address control and software issues such as interface design, suitable control approaches, and the lower layers of control architectures, which significantly influence the performance of a system.

Material

List of Topics

  • Modifying commercial manipulator controllers for high-rate low-level control (implementations based on major manufacturers like ABB, Comau, Kuka, Mitsubishi, Stäubli)
  • Low-level control interfaces: paradigms and implementation issues
  • Manipulator control software architectures: the lower layers
  • Open source robot control software
  • Control algorithms
  • Multi sensor integration
  • Software tools and code generation

Tentative Schedule


To accommodate ten presentations, the workshop will be extended by 45 minutes compared to other half-day workshops.

09:00-09:15 Introduction
09:15-09:30 Low-Level Control of Robot Manipulators: Distributed Open Real-Time Control Architectures for Stäubli RX and TX Manipulators
by Daniel Kubus et al.
09:30-09:45 Low-Level Control of Robot Manipulators: A Brief Survey on Sensor-Guided Control and On-Line Trajectory Generation
by Torsten Kröger et al.
09:45-10:00 Discussion
10:00-10:15 Flexible Application development and high-performance motion control based on external sensing and reconfiguration of ABB Industrial Robot Controllers
by Anders Robertsson et al.
10:15-10:30 Open Software Architecture for Advanced Control of Robotic Manipulators in Non-Structured Environments
by Javier Gámez García et al.
10:30-10:45 Discussion
10:45-11:00 The Fast Research Interface for the KUKA Lightweight Robot
by Günter Schreiber et al.
11:00-11:15 Commercial Controller Enhancements and Open Source Robot Control Software: Addressed Solutions for Demanding Applications
by N. Pedrocchi et al.
11:15-11:30 Discussion
11:30-11:45 Open Architecture xPC Target Based Robot Controllers for Industrial and Research Manipulators
by Matjaz Mihelj et al.
11:45-12:00 Model-Driven Robot-Software Design Using Template-Based Target Descriptions
by Jan F. Broenink et al.
12:00-12:15 Discussion
12:15-12:30 Motion Planning and Monitoring of an Industrial Robot via a Virtual Manufacturing Cell
by Marina Indri et al.
12:30-12:45 A modular and task-oriented architecture for open control systems: The evolution of C5G open towards high level programming
by Gianluca Antonelli et al.
12:45-13:15 Final Discussion and Conclusion


Detailed List of Contributions

  • Open Software Architecture for Advanced Control of Robotic Manipulators in Non-Structured Environments
    Authors: Javier Gámez García , Juan Gómez Ortega, Alejandro Sánchez García, and Silvia Satorres Martínez
    Keywords:Open software architectures, robotic manipulator control, robot sensing systems, multisensory systems
    Affiliation:University of Jaén, Jaén, Spain
  • Flexible Application development and high-performance motion control based on external sensing and reconfiguration of ABB Industrial Robot Controllers
    Authors: Anders Blomdell, Isolde Dressler, Klas Nilsson, Anders Robertsson
    Keywords: Robot {sensing, control, actuation, interfaces, applications}
    Affiliation:Dept of Automatic Control, Lund University, Sweden
  • The Fast Research Interface for the KUKA Lightweight Robot
    Authors: Günter Schreiber(1), Andreas Stemmer(2), and Rainer Bischoff(1)
    Keywords:Low level control interface for industrial controller; position, impedance, torque control; real-time control: 1 ms
    Affiliation:(1)Kuka Roboter GmbH; (2) DLR, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, Germany
  • Commercial Controllers Enhancements and Open Source Robot Control Software: Addressed Solutions for Demanding Applications
    Authors:N. Pedrocchi, M. Malosio, F. Vicentini, L. Molinari Tosatti, and G. Legnani
    Keywords:Open-source realtime operative system; Modular software architecture; Force based/model based control algorithms; Human-robot interaction
    Affiliation:Insititute of Industrial Technologies and Automation, National Council of Researches, Italy
  • Low-Level Control of Robot Manipulators: Distributed Open Real-Time Control Architectures for Stäubli RX and TX Manipulators
    Authors: Daniel Kubus, Alexander Sommerkorn, Torsten Kröger, Jochen Maaß, and Friedrich M. Wahl
    Keywords: Hardware and software architectures/modifications, synchronization approaches in distributed control systems, characteristics of the Stäubli low-level interface, real-time middleware
    Affiliation:TU Braunschweig, Institut für Robotik und Prozessinformatik, Germany
  • Low-Level Control of Robot Manipulators: A Brief Survey on Sensor-Guided Control and On-Line Trajectory Generation
    Authors: Torsten Kröger and Friedrich M. Wahl
    Keywords:Distributed real-time computing, On-line trajectory generation, Force/torque sensor integration, Camera integration, Hybrid Switched-System Control, Manipulation Primitives
    Affiliation:Artificial Intelligence Lab, Dept. of Computer Science, Stanford University, USA
  • Open Architecture xPC Target Based Robot Controllers for Industrial and Research Manipulators
    Authors: Matjaz Mihelj and Marko Munih
    Keywords:Open architecture robot control, Robot low level control interfaces, software tools and code generation, robot control and haptic library, robot manufacturers: Stäubli, Motoman, Moog FCS (HapticMaster), Sensable (Phantom), Matlab xPC Target
    Affiliation:Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Model-Driven Robot-Software Design Using Template-Based Target Descriptions
    Authors: Jan F. Broenink, Marcel A. Groothuis, Peter M. Visser, and Maarten M. Bezemer
    Keywords:Robot Software Architectures; Model-Driven Design; Code Generation; Software Tools
    Affiliation:Control Engineering, Faculty EE-Math-CS, University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • Motion Planning and Monitoring of an Industrial Robot via a Virtual Manufacturing Cell
    Authors: Fabrizio Abrate(1), Basilio Bona(1), Marina Indri(1), Daniele Messa(1), and Aldo Bottero (2)
    Keywords:Virtual robotic cell, bidirectional HW/SW architecture, motion planning, robot monitoring
    Affiliation:(1) DAUIN - Politecnico di Torino, Italy; (2) Comau Robotics
  • A modular and task-oriented architecture for open control system: The evolution of C5G open towards high level programming
    Authors: Gianluca Antonelli(1), Stefano Chiaverini(1), Valerio Perna(2), and Fabrizio Romanelli(2)
    Keywords:Open and Modular Architecture; Optimized Trajectory Planning; Sensor Fusion; High-Level Programming
    Affiliation:(1) Dipartimento di Automazione, Universita` degli Studi di Cassino, Italy; (2) Comau Robotics SpA


Motivation and Objectives

Due to the lack of suitable control interfaces many researchers who require low-level access to commercial manipulators are forced to (mis)use standard interfaces, which results in suboptimal system performance in most cases. Few research groups have actually been able to modify industrial manipulator controllers to enable open high-rate (>1kHz) control while at the same time maintaining basic safety and monitoring functionality. Currently, several robot manufacturers offer low-level access to the robot hardware but these interfaces are not suitable for research purposes (yet) due to relatively low control rates in the range of several milliseconds and high latencies. Moreover, important components such as interpolators, joint controllers - and especially their parameters - can neither be read nor modified which is essential in many cases. Therefore, several research groups have tried to modify commercial controllers to allow for high-rate low-level control. These enhancements involve software components and standard PC hardware but often significant modifications of electronic components are required as well. Thus, the number of research groups who actually have the necessary expert knowledge is rather limited.

This workshop aims at providing an insight into necessary modifications which have to be performed to enable open control of manipulators manufactured by established companies. For instance, the reserach groups of the organizers have developed flexible, open control architectures for ABB(External) and Stäubli manipulators. Apart from concrete implementations, it will focus on general design issues regarding low-level control layers, applicable paradigms, and suitable control algorithms. A third focus of the workshop will be open robot control software.

For everyone who is interested in open low-level control of commercial manipulators this workshop will constitute a fruitful discussion and networking platform. Demonstrations of software tools/frameworks by the presenters are strongly encouraged.
Of particular interest is the participation of manufacturers to communicate the requirements of the research community and discuss the issues affecting the existing interface solutions. The organizers will actively stimulate participation of the manufacturers mentioned above.

Primary/Secondary Audience

The workshop primarily targets researchers who need open access to industrial manipulators for their projects. Therefore, the primary audience is not limited to control engineers but includes everyone who requires a high-rate low-level control interface for industrial manipulators. Classic fields posing this requirement are force control and visual servo control. Furthermore, researchers targeting advanced human robot cooperation as well as groups employing industrial manipulators in the field of service and medical robotics will greatly benefit from this workshop. It will serve as a networking platform for interested research groups who already work with or plan to employ low-level interfaces.

Last not least this workshop addresses robot manufacturers. Commonly, internals of the low-level control layers are not revealed to the research community; however, several robot manufacturers are making efforts to meet the needs of the research community with their next generation controllers. Hopefully, this workshop will help to identify the requirements of researchers and give impulses for the development of new, innovative control architectures.

Organizers/Contact

This workshop is proposed by Rolf Johansson (External)(Lund University), Daniel Kubus (TU Braunschweig), and Klas Nilsson (External)(Lund University). If you have any questions concerning the workshop, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel Kubus.

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