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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A behavioral approach to open robot systems : design and programming Zhang, Ying


Current robots have very limited abilities to adapt to the environment, to survive in unstructured situations, to deal with incomplete and inconsistent information, and to make real-time decisions. One reason for this is the limited power of computation; another reason is an incorrect decomposition of the robot architecture and the unsuitable representation with rigid programming style. The core of this thesis is a new design and programming methodology which is needed for more robust, flexible and intelligent robot systems, called open robot systems. We have developed a general framework for open robot systems and a programming methodology for building open robot systems. Our approach to robot design is: decompose a robot system into a set of hierarchical behavioral modules according to the logical or physical structure; each of the module is possibly further decomposed into a set of concurrent processes representing sensors, motors and their coordination according to task-achieving behaviors. Our approach to robot programming is: build the behavioral modules based on parallel objects. Programming is a way of designing each individual module and constructing the modules into a complex system. We have built a software system on a real robot arm to simulate the tasks for forest harvesting, based on our approach to robot system design and programming. The system is written in Parallel C++ in a transputer-based parallel environment.

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