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Modular robots are a powerful concept for robotics. A modular robot consists of many individual modules so it can adjust its configuration to the problem. However, the fact that a modular robot consists of many individual modules makes it a highly distributed, highly concurrent real-time system, which are notoriously hard to program. In this work, we present our programming framework for writing control applications for modular robots. The framework includes a toolset that allows a model-based programing approach for control application of modular robots with code generation and verification. The framework is characterized by the following three features. First, it provides a complex programming model that is based on standard finite state machines extended in syntax and semantics to support communication, variables, and actions. Second, the framework provides compositionality at the hardware and at the software level and allows building the modular robot and its control application from small building blocks. And third, the framework supports formal verification of the control application to aid the gait and task developer in identifying problems and bugs before the deployment and testing on the physical robot.
Date Posted: 08 September 2010
This document has been peer reviewed.