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Proceedings Paper

Open multi-agent control architecture to support virtual-reality-based man-machine interfaces
Author(s): Eckhard Freund; Juergen Rossmann; Marcel Brasch
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Paper Abstract

Projective Virtual Reality is a new and promising approach to intuitively operable man machine interfaces for the commanding and supervision of complex automation systems. The user interface part of Projective Virtual Reality heavily builds on latest Virtual Reality techniques, a task deduction component and automatic action planning capabilities. In order to realize man machine interfaces for complex applications, not only the Virtual Reality part has to be considered but also the capabilities of the underlying robot and automation controller are of great importance. This paper presents a control architecture that has proved to be an ideal basis for the realization of complex robotic and automation systems that are controlled by Virtual Reality based man machine interfaces. The architecture does not just provide a well suited framework for the real-time control of a multi robot system but also supports Virtual Reality metaphors and augmentations which facilitate the user's job to command and supervise a complex system. The developed control architecture has already been used for a number of applications. Its capability to integrate sensor information from sensors of different levels of abstraction in real-time helps to make the realized automation system very responsive to real world changes. In this paper, the architecture will be described comprehensively, its main building blocks will be discussed and one realization that is built based on an open source real-time operating system will be presented. The software design and the features of the architecture which make it generally applicable to the distributed control of automation agents in real world applications will be explained. Furthermore its application to the commanding and control of experiments in the Columbus space laboratory, the European contribution to the International Space Station (ISS), is only one example which will be described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 October 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4571, Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems IV, (4 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.444163
Show Author Affiliations
Eckhard Freund, Univ. of Dortmund (Germany)
Juergen Rossmann, Univ. of Dortmund (Germany)
Marcel Brasch, Univ. of Dortmund (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4571:
Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems IV
Gerard T. McKee; Paul S. Schenker, Editor(s)

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