Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

January 1993


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-93-11.


Advanced manufacturing concepts such as "Virtual Factories" use an information infrastructure to tie together changing groups of specialized facilities into agile manufacturing systems. A necessary element of such systems is the ability to teleoperate machines, for example telerobotic systems with full-capability sensory feedback loops. We have identified three network advances needed for splitting robotic control from robotic function: increased bandwidth, decreased error rates, and support for isochronous traffic. These features are available in the Gigabit networks under development at Penn and elsewhere.

A number of key research questions are posed by gigabit telerobotics. There are issues in network topology, robot control and distributed system software, packaging and transport of sensory data (including wide-area transport), and performance implications of architectural choices using measures such as cost, response time, and network utilization.

We propose to explore these questions experimentally in a joint research effort combining the Distributed Systems Laboratory (DSL) and the General Robotics and Sensory Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of-Pennsylvania. The proposed experiments should provide important early results. A detailed research program is described.



Date Posted: 10 August 2007