Re-engineering software architecture of home service robots: a case study
Proceedings. 27th International Conference on Software Engineering, 2005. ICSE 2005.
With the advances of robotics, computer science, and other related areas, home service robots attract much attention from both academia and industry. Home service robots present interesting technical challenges to the community in that they have a wide range of potential applications, such as home security, patient caring, cleaning, etc., and that the services provided by the robots in each application area are being defined as markets are formed and, therefore, they change constantly. Without
... onstantly. Without architectural considerations to address these challenges, robot manufacturers often focus on developing technical components (e.g., vision recognizer, speech processor, and actuator) and then attempt to develop service robots by integrating these components. When prototypes are developed for a new application, or when services are added, modified, or removed from existing robots, unexpected, undesirable, and often dangerous side-effects, which are known as feature interaction problem, happen frequently. Reengineering of such robots can make a serious impact in delivery time and development cost. In this paper, we present our experience of re-engineering a prototype of a home service robot developed by Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. First, we designed a modular and hierarchical software architecture that makes interaction among the components visible. With the visibility of interactions, we could assign functional responsibilities to each component clearly. Then, we re-engineered existing codes to conform to the new architecture using a reactive language Esterel. As a result, we could detect and solve feature interaction problems and alleviate the difficulty of adding or updating components.