Sixth Framework Programme (FP6)Creation of a glossary/ontology for mobile manipulation and service robots. Comprehensive, widely accepted glossaries form the basis for any standard defining activity. In this context, ontologies (a collection of terms, concepts and their inter-relationships, represented in a machine-usable form) are a means to discuss and formally describe advanced robotics systems in terms of their requirements, functional components, performance, architectures, models and methods. A proof of concept of a robotic ontology scheme and its exemplary use in industrial and service robotics domains demonstrated the benefits of using ontologies in robotics research and developments.
Specification reference architecture principles for mobile manipulation and service robots. Specification of a middleware for mobile manipulation and service robots. Benchmarking. Assessing the performance of both a robot component and a system is of strategic importance to facilitate the communication process between research and industry, to document the research progress in robotics and related fields, and to trigger research towards key-functionality performance. In the domain of robotics and neighbouring technologies, numerous documented ad-hoc experimental procedures, benchmarks, and competitions are systematised. Procedures are suggested to develop and use specific benchmarks on different system levels: from evaluating performance of robotic functions via behaviours to assessing full systems in their environments.
These four bodies of activities have been conducted in respective workpackages (WPs) which all followed a similar process starting from an analysis of the state-of-the-art, via requirement analyses, to the formulation of initiatives, action plans and, where appropriate, elaboration of proof-of-concept demonstrations. It can be concluded that RoSta pinpointed central challenges in advanced robotics development as envisaged in the FP6 IST 6th Call on Advanced Robotics. Also through multipliers in the RoSta-consortium to robotics stakeholder groups the project helped initiate sustainable activities in the area of advanced robotics and cognitive systems:
Addressing standardization activities with respect to modular design of robotic systems. Research and standardization of robotic architectures and middlewares has become a prime topic in order to achieve required robot system performance, effectively develop and integrate complex mechatronic systems, and to apply novel engineering methods and tools. Furthermore the emergence of a robotics supply industry as a critical factor for reducing high development costs is based on hardware and software component interoperability and thus on compatibility to standard robot architectures, and middlewares. RoSta helped initiate the concepts of robotics research platforms (as pursued in the newly started FP7-initiatives BRICS and ECHORD) for exploring technologies, methods and tools for an efficient configuration and integration of advanced robot systems for research and industrial applications. Furthermore, standardization activities have started to investigate and specify requirements and interfaces for component interoperability as recently initiated in the context of international standardization bodies such as the ISO TC184, IEEE-RAS and OMG.
Specification of benchmarks. The most critical aspect in benchmarking is their wide-spread adoption among communities. Thus, the discussion and consensus building of the RoSta benchmarking efforts has been taking place in robotics communities such as EURON and EUROP (supported by the CA CARE) as well as in neighbouring benchmarking initiatives (e.g. CA RAWSEEDS). The portfolio of metrics, the process of using existing benchmarks and the development of new benchmarks has been discussed and defined in a sequence of dedicated workshops. Robotics communities are intensely investigating methods of best experimental practice and benchmarking etc. for securing scientific quality and road-mapping of research.
Develop long-term visions and research roadmaps. Of particular interest has been the assessment of maturity levels of robotic key-technologies and the formulation of technology roadmaps in the EUROP SRA. RoSta results regarding basic metrics and maturity levels of robotic key-technologies could be used to quantify a robotics roadmap for the first time.
Study and assessment of international activities and establishment of international cooperation initiatives. The project has been based on intense interaction experts communities (EURON, EUROP, IEEE), reach-out to stakeholder groups and presence in standardisation bodies (ISO, IEEE, OMG) both on a European and international level. Besides using existing formal ties (AIST/Japan and ISRC/Korea) workshops in all areas were usually held within the adjournment of international conferences (ICRA 2007 and 2008, IROS 2007 and 2008, ISR 2008, and ICAR 2009).