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Lightweight Concurrency


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Invited talk held at the IEEE conference Hummanoids'06 in Genoa, Italy about Microsoft's recently released preview of the Microsoft Robotics Studio. Including a scalable runtime architecture supporting 8-bit up to 32-bit technologies with multi-core processors, the system provides access to simple touch sensors up to complex laser range finders. A 3D visual simulation environment and open architecture allows easy integration and simulation of newly constructed hardware platforms. While a wide variety of commercial and academic robots are already integrated within the Robotics Studio, there is a lack of humanoid platforms, yet. In this talk we will discuss the design of the software platform and the requirements to be met to integrate humanoid robots in the future.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Lightweight Concurrency

  1. 1. HUMANOIDS‟06 Presented byLightweight Concurrency Andreas Heil Alexander Brändle DateA Distributed Platform for Creating 04th December 2006Robotics Applications
  2. 2. Microsoft Research Overview Redmond Cambridge BeijingSan Francisco Silicon Valley Bangalore • 6 Research Labs • 3 Continents • 700+ Researchers: computer scientists, mathematicians, social scientists, architects and designers, computational scientists • 55+ Areas of research • Significant impact on Microsoft Products • Strong partnership with leading universities worldwide
  3. 3. Microsoft & Robotics Experience Groups Systems Microsoft Research • PC Ecosystem (desktop, web, • Enabling Technologies mobile, home) • Human Robot Interaction • XP, XP Embedded, CE (real-time) • Personal Robotics • Educational Robotics Development environment and tools • Programming Environments • Programming IDE Microsoft Robotics Groups • Debugging and Optimization • Microsoft Robotics Group Existing applicable Technologies Redmond • Center for Innovative Robotics • Speech Carnegie Mellon University • Real-time Communications • External Research Office • Infrastructure Cambridge
  4. 4. 2 1 Real vacuum cleaner Filtering unnecessary Information Household Devices (Microwave, Fridge) Robot with integrated Communication Capabilities1 Robot loading Dishwasher2 Tourguide3 Robot adapting to individual Needs Gaming Robots 3 Learning about new Environments by giving a Tour to it, after that it can re-give that tour. Humanoids – where are we? Robot helping handicapped People Ironing Robot Proactive Robots Robots understanding human Activities 24h Assistant Companion for elderly People* EURON Workshop 2005
  5. 5. The Microsoft Robotics StudioA lightweight concurrency and services oriented runtime• Handling of sensory input and controlling actuators• Based on synchronous message passing• Decentralized System Services (DSS) based on the Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR) facilitating tasks and basic services such as debugging, logging, monitoring, security, discovery, and data persistenceAuthoring/development tools• Visual programming editor• Simulation• Message debugging• Technology libraries and basic algorithms
  6. 6. Existing Open Software Platform • Robotics Hardware manufacturers (OEM) • Robotics Hardware Distributors Applications and Tools • Robotics Software Developers (ISVs) • Robotics curriculum/Educational Agencies • Community Platforms Authoring Tools Microsoft Visual Studio Technology Libraries Robot Models Device Services Runtime Environment (OEM, ISV, IRV) CoroWare Inc, KUKA Robot Group, Robosoft, Robotic Application RoboticsConnection, White Box Robotics Inc, Runtime fischertechnik, LEGO Group, MobileRobots Inc., Parallax Inc. and Phidgets Inc., ScatterWeb, … Previews: ABB, InTouch Health, Lynxmotion Inc., RoboDynamics Corp., Senseta, Trossen Robotics and Ugobe Inc., as well as with many leading universities and research institutes, including Bryn Mawr College, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Korea Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pisa, University of Southern California, and the University of Washington.
  7. 7. Service Based Architecture Services Vision • Can be used to abstract hardware Knowledge • Can be composed and provide Body aggregated functionality (sensor Arm fusion, for example) Communication • Are inherently remotable and Motion participate in distributed operations Sensors • Restartable and mobile (state Internal perception transfer) Network perception • Must be inherently asynchronous
  8. 8. Service Based Architecture Services are the basic building blocks Vision Knowledge • Structured state Body • Behavior Arm Communication • Partner services Motion • Contracts Sensors Internal perception Network perception
  9. 9. Service Based Architecture Nodes Vision • Services run within an execution Knowledge context called a „node‟ Body • Nodes expose http and SOAP/TCP Arm endpoints Communication • 3,000 – 50,000 Messages/s Motion Sensors Internal perception Network perception
  10. 10. Robotics ApplicationAn application is a composition of loosely-coupled services concurrently executing acrossscopes• Interactions described using service contacts• Components are networked• Provides isolation between components > Reliability – ability to restart independently, replaceable/updatable > Parallelism UI Main Port Main Port Service Private Port Code State Main Port Service Main Port Code Main PortPrivate Port State Private Port Service Service Code Service Code State Code State State H/W H/W* Example: Model car + sensors
  11. 11. Simulation Capabilities• High-End Graphics Support • Easy programmable simulation environment• Ageia PhysX Engine • Hardware support • SDK free available• Simulated Services • Manufacturer support• Simulated Camera View • Generic service
  12. 12. Community Work: KHR1 * L. Lessieux,
  13. 13. Outlook• Why is Microsoft not developing their own robot?• Microsoft Robotics Studio > Free for personal & academic use > Available as CTP (November CTP) > 30,000 downloads since May „06 > Improved visualization > Package based deployment > Increasing adaption by HW manufacturers > Final version end of Dec 2006 > CCR / DSS maybe available as separate DL > > Multiple languages: C#, C++, VB, Python, VPL > Designed to support multicore / multiprocessor / multimachine > Good News: Hard real time support in future (Win CE) > No humanoids yet
  14. 14. Thank you for your attention.
  15. 15. Backup
  16. 16. Robotics Studio Architecture Orchestration Orchestration Application Decentralized System Services Robotic Services Services Concurrency and Coordination Device Services Library Services Activation Discovery Robot Model Runtime Device 1 VisionServices Diagnostics Storage Vis/Sim Device 2 SLAM … … Terminal UX Messaging Transport SPL Signal Processing Hardware Abstraction Layer HAL
  17. 17. Layered and Distributed Application “Learns” and begins to favors specific behavioral characteristics. Interacts with the orchestration layer to achieve the favored patterns. Behavior Control Layer Defines and facilitates communication patterns that coordinate information processing amongst lower level services. Orchestration Layer Provides functionality abstraction, computational encapsulation, failure isolation, distributed and concurrent execution, via software services . Services Layer Executes algorithms that require near real-time computation and deterministic time control. Signal Processing Layer Directly interfaces with the physical robotics hardware - Sensors and Actuators. Hardware Abstraction Layer
  18. 18. Service Composition • Services aren‟t just for devices • Services can be compose to form other services • Services can represent passive or non-existent devices > Fused sensory data can be re-exposed as an independent service Trajectory Drive Pose Motor Services Encoder Steering Servo Robot Model ServiceRobot Model Wheel Base Geometry
  19. 19. Authoring EnvironmentStandalone & Visual StudiointegratedScales with programmer skill Visual Studio• Helps beginners with drag/drop IDE programming• Assists advanced developer with service orchestration Robot Package Robot Model Designer Code Generator• Conceptually consistent with conventional programming Tool Box Application Designer Debugging services languages Packages Service Contract Visualization and• Context based toolbox Designer SimulationSupport Rapid Application Deployment Designer Code DownloaderDevelopment via visualprogramming, simulation andvisualization.Supports programming ofdistributed scenariosExtensible to support otherhardware