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Proceedings Paper

Modular control architecture for real-time synchronous and asynchronous systems
Author(s): Philip L. Butler; Judson P. Jones
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a control architecture for real-time control of complex robotic systems. The modular integrated control architecture (MICA), which is actually two complementary control systems, recognizes and exploits the differences between asynchronous and synchronous control. The asynchronous control system simulates shared memory on a heterogeneous network. For control information, a portable event-scheme is used. This scheme provides consistent interprocess coordination among multiple tasks on a number of distributed systems. The machines in the network can vary with respect to their native operating systems and the internal representation of numbers they use. The synchronous control system is needed for tight real-time control of complex electromechanical systems such as robot manipulators, and the system uses multiple processors at a specified rate. Both the synchronous and asynchronous portions of MICA have been developed to be extremely modular. MICA presents a simple programming model to code developers and also considers the needs of system integrators and maintainers. MICA has been used successfully in a complex robotics project involving a mobile 7-degree-of-freedom manipulator in a heterogeneous network with a body of software totaling over 100,000 lines of code. MICA has also been used in another robotics system, controlling a commercial long-reach manipulator.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1964, Applications of Artificial Intelligence 1993: Machine Vision and Robotics, (11 March 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.141776
Show Author Affiliations
Philip L. Butler, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Judson P. Jones, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1964:
Applications of Artificial Intelligence 1993: Machine Vision and Robotics
Kim L. Boyer; Louise Stark, Editor(s)

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