Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

RobMoSys Report Summary

Project ID: 732410
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RobMoSys (Composable Models and Software for Robotics Systems)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Robotics systems are dramatically diversifying to meet constantly evolving user and societal expectations. Robotics system development means not only building several individually more complex sub-systems —such as motion control, computer vision— but also to combine them into systems that can operate in open, dynamic environments, with far greater diversity, and higher demand on performance and adaptability.

RobMoSys aims to coordinate the whole community’s best and consorted efforts to realise a step-change towards a European ecosystem for open and sustainable industry-grade model-based software development. The expected impact is a well-connected ecosystem of relevant stakeholders committed to improve, support, extend and exploit such robotic capabilities as a vendor-neutral commodity platform for innovation.

RobMoSys envisions an integrated approach built on top of the current code-centric robotic platforms, by applying model-driven methods and tools. The project will enable the management of the interfaces between different robotics-related domains in an efficient and systematic way. It will drive the building a professional quality ecosystem by encouraging the community involvement and by elaborating many of the common robot functionalities via Open Calls.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES

We have released a first version of modeling foundations and metamodels that enable the specification of composable software models in WP2 and used for the specification of domain specific building blocks for motion and perception in WP3. The modelling structures are realized through a model-driven approach. The core structures include:
• Roles: robotics expert, domain expert, component supplier, system builder, installation and deployment, operation.
• Role-specific views: Communication Pattern View, Component Development View, Execution Container View, Service Design View, System Configuration View, Performance View, Deployment View, Service Architecture View, Service Fulfilment View.
• Architectural patterns, which combine several abstraction levels and concerns such as computation, coordination, configuration, communication, composition and transformation.
• 3 Composition tiers that structure the RobMoSys ecosystem and enable the separation of roles.

Work package WP4 brings, in pilot applications, the validation of the RobMoSys methodology and demonstration through the development of real robot applications targeted at real customers, to illustrate vendor-neutral and environment-neutral composition of systems. The design of the pilot cases addressed to guarantee a heterogeneous case selection of full robotic applications in different end-user contexts, e.g., industrial scenarios, healthcare robotics, educational robotics, interlogistic and human-robot collaboration.

The RobMoSys meta-models structures define the foundation guidelines to ensure interoperability of tools. In WP2, prototypical implementations have been provided. The reference Eclipse Ecore implementation of RobMoSys meta-models serves as a “pivot” model to ensure interoperability of RobMoSys tools. The consortium provided a set of tools based on the partner’s background, e.g. based on the SmartSoft World and on Papyrus for Robotics. The baseline is already conforming to the RobMoSys Ecore implementation in its core aspects.

The RobMoSys consortium uses a Wiki to collect, prepare, and publish its results.

NON-TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES

The project worked towards a broad community involvement into active support of the RobMoSys ecosystem. WP5 worked in deploying the first Open Call by organizing a workshop of experts as a first activity to gather knowledge from near communities and industrial representatives. This was used as a baseline to prepare the first call by producing the documents, guidelines, eligibility and evaluation criteria, and dissemination material. Different channels were used to promote the call. 34 proposals have been received and 6 of them were selected as part of a well-structured and transparent evaluation process.

In WP6, an important effort has been dedicated to the dissemination of the RobMoSys approach and means to foster the community involvement. Different communication channels (forums, workshops, conference, newsletters, press releases, etc.) have been used. Until M12, 3 press releases and 8 newsletters were distributed. The project has been presented in 1 expert workshop and 1 public workshop, 3 brokerage days, 7 conferences and exhibitions and two trade fairs targeting industry, research and software developers.

WP7 worked in defining the baseline for exploitation, business models and sustainability. A joint and individual exploitation plan has been released together with a preliminary market analysis to drive the definition of the tentative business models (mainly centred on open source). WP7 also defined the strategy and governance considerations to build the RobMoSys community.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state of the art:

• Different levels of abstraction have been defined going from the mission level to the hardware. Intermediate levels like task plot, skill, service and function are technology agnostic levels. Lower levels like middleware, operating systems and hardware allows the choice of specific platform resources to implement abstract (platform-agnostic) models. This approach allows RobMoSys users to use a same model for different technologies and let the choice decision of the technologies-specific choices to the later development process.

• RobMoSys developed models of the motion stack and the structural representation of algorithms. From this basis, it is possible to describe, in a composable form, kinematic chains and other elements that constitute the world model description, enriched with other properties and semantic information required for the description of robotic application tasks. This composable approach aims to provide models to describe, in non-ambiguous way, functions, data and control flow primitives, abstracting away from multiple choices over the data representation of semantic concepts and over concrete programming languages.

Progress regarding our strategic expected impacts:

1. Enhanced productivity of robotics systems through high quality tools: During this period, we designed and defined the initial and applicable baseline for technical structures that enable composition of software and collaboration among the different stakeholders in an ecosystem for the robotics domain. The structures are realized through a model-driven approach and are made accessible by eclipse-based tooling. As an initial step, these structures and tooling are available publicly (via RobMoSys wiki) and are ready for extension and adoption via the general robotics community and Open Calls.

2. Wide acceptance of new, efficient and flexible system development tools across the development community and in the marketplace: During the first year, the main achievement has been the large involvement of the robotics community in the first Open Call. In this Call, 6 projects out of 34 proposals have been selected with competences in tooling, development of models and generation of associated software. The selected projects are in line with the expectations of the RobMoSys consortium. Also, RobMoSys outreach in the industrial and software community has been done by different levels of interaction: awareness, understanding, commitment and active participation.

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