What is URBI?• Urbi is an open-source software platform to control robots or complex systems in general. It includes a C++ component library called UObject that comes with a robot standard API to describe motors, sensors and algorithms. Next to UObject, you can use the urbiscript orchestration script language to glue the components together and describe high level behaviors, a bit like python or LUA, but with embedded parallel and event-driven semantics to make the job easier.
• Developed from 6 years out of the Cognitive Robotics Lab of ENSTA ParisTech, and then by the Gostai spin-off company. Urbi has a large community and is now compatible with several robots including Nao, Aibo, Spykee, Segway RMP, Pioneer, Lego Mindstorm, Bioloid, Wifibot, Pekee II, iCub (soon), and the Webots simulator.
Goal• The goal of Urbi is to help making robots compatible, and simplify the process of writing programs and behaviors for those robots. The range of potential applications of Urbi goes beyond robotics, since it has been successfully used in generic complex systems, where parallel and event-driven orchestration on multiple agents is the rule.
URBI for WeBots• URBI for Webots is URBI server for Webots, meaning that it is an application, running as a Webots controller, which acts as a URBI server, whereas the program which actually controls your simulated robot is either a URBI script or a URBI client you have designed. It is easy to switch from the simulation to a real robot using the same URBI client or program.
AR.Drone• Just when we thought that Parrots iPhone-controlled airship couldnt be any more of a blast, a gentleman named Psykokwak (yes, really) has been hard at work on an implementation of the URBI (Universal Robot Body Interface) for the AR.Drone. And whats more, hes gone and written a twenty-five line script that lets the thing to pick out -- and shadow -- a red rubber ball. Pretty awesome, right? Youll need an AR.Drone of course, as well as a computer (clients are available for PC, Linux, and Mac), the interface of your choice (joystick, keyboard, whatever) and of course -- for the current demonstration -- a red rubber ball. For the technical nitty gritty, check out the links below. But before you do make sure you peep the demonstration video after the break.