This paper presents a new approach to parallel path planning for industrial robot arms with six degrees of freedom in an on-line given 3D environment. The method is based a best-first search algorithm and needs no essential off-line computations. The algorithm works in an implicitly discrete configuration space. Collisions are detected in the Cartesian workspace by hierarchical distance computation based on polyhedral models of the robot and the obstacles. By decomposing the 6D configuration space into hypercubes and cyclically mapping them onto multiple processing units, a good load distribution can be achieved. We have implemented the parallel path planner on a workstation cluster with 9 PCs and tested the planner for several benchmark environments. With optimal discretisation, the new approach usually shows very good speedups. In on-line provided environments with static obstacles, the parallel planning times are only a few seconds.
In this paper we present an interpreter which allows to support the validation of conceptual models in early stages of the development. We compare hypermedia and expert system approaches to knowledge processing and show how an integrated approach eases the creation of expert systems. Our knowledge engineering tool CoMo-Kit allows a "smooth" transition from initial protocols via a semi-formal specification based on a typed hypertext up to an running expert system. The interpreter uses the intermediate hypertext representation for the interactive solution of problems. Thereby, tasks are distributed to agents via an local area network. This means that the specification of an expert system can directly be used to solve real world problems. If there exist formal (operational) specifications for subtasks then these are delegated to computers. Therefore, our approach allows to specify and validate distributed, cooperative systems where some subtasks are solved by humans and other subtasks are solved automatically by computers.
A practical distributed planning and control system for industrial robots is presented. The hierarchical concept consists of three independent levels. Each level is modularly implemented and supplies an application interface (API) to the next higher level. At the top level, we propose an automatic motion planner. The motion planner is based on a best-first search algorithm and needs no essential off-line computations. At the middle level, we propose a PC-based robot control architecture, which can easily be adapted to any industrial kinematics and application. Based on a client/server-principle, the control unit estab-lishes an open user interface for including application specific programs. At the bottom level, we propose a flexible and modular concept for the integration of the distributed motion control units based on the CAN bus. The concept allows an on-line adaptation of the control parameters according to the robot's configuration. This implies high accuracy for the path execution and improves the overall system performance.
In many robotic applications, the teaching of points in space is necessary to register the robot coordinate system with the one of the application. Robot-human interaction is awkward and dangerous for the human because of the possibly large size and power of the robot, so robot movements must be predictable and natural. We present a novel hybrid control algorithm which provides the needed precision in small scale movements while allowing for fast and intuitive large scale translations.
We present a parallel control architecture for industrial robot cells. It is based on closed functional components arranged in a flat communication hierarchy. The components may be executed by different processing elements, and each component itself may run on multiple processing elements. The system is driven by the instructions of a central cell control component. We set up necessary requirements for industrial robot cells and possible parallelization levels. These are met by the suggested robot control architecture. As an example we present a robot work cell and a component for motion planning, which fits well in this concept.
The semantics of everyday language and the semanticsof its naive translation into classical first-order language consider-ably differ. An important discrepancy that is addressed in this paperis about the implicit assumption what exists. For instance, in thecase of universal quantification natural language uses restrictions andpresupposes that these restrictions are non-empty, while in classi-cal logic it is only assumed that the whole universe is non-empty.On the other hand, all constants mentioned in classical logic arepresupposed to exist, while it makes no problems to speak about hy-pothetical objects in everyday language. These problems have beendiscussed in philosophical logic and some adequate many-valuedlogics were developed to model these phenomena much better thanclassical first-order logic can do. An adequate calculus, however, hasnot yet been given. Recent years have seen a thorough investigationof the framework of many-valued truth-functional logics. UnfortuADnately, restricted quantifications are not truth-functional, hence theydo not fit the framework directly. We solve this problem by applyingrecent methods from sorted logics.
One of the many features needed to support the activities of autonomous systems is the ability of motion planning. It enables robots to move in their environment securely and to accomplish given tasks. Unfortunately, the control loop comprising sensing, planning, and acting has not yet been closed for robots in dynamic environments. One reason involves the long execution times of the motion planning component. A solution for this problem is offered by the use of highly computational parallelism. Thus, an important task is the parallelization of existing motion planning algorithms for robots so that they are suitable for highly computational parallelism. In several cases, completely new algorithms have to be designed, so that a parallelization is feasible. In this survey, we review recent approaches to motion planning using parallel computation.
In recent years, more and more publications and material for studying and teaching, e. g. for Web-based teaching (WBT), appear "online" and digital libraries are built to manage such publications and online materials. Therefore, the most important concerns are related to the problem of durable, sustained storage and the management of content together with its metadata existing in heterogeneous styles and formats. In this paper, we present specific techniques and their use to support metadata-based catalog services. Such semistructured metadata (represented as XML fragments), which belong to online learning resources, need efficient XML-based query support, scalable result set processing, and comprehensive facilities for personalization purposes. We discuss the associated problems, subsequently derive the concepts of a suitable architecture, and finally outline the realization by means of our prototype system that is based on the J2EE component model.
Even though it is not very often admitted, partial functionsdo play a significant role in many practical applications of deduction sys-tems. Kleene has already given a semantic account of partial functionsusing a three-valued logic decades ago, but there has not been a satisfact-ory mechanization. Recent years have seen a thorough investigation ofthe framework of many-valued truth-functional logics. However, strongKleene logic, where quantification is restricted and therefore not truth-functional, does not fit the framework directly. We solve this problemby applying recent methods from sorted logics. This paper presents atableau calculus that combines the proper treatment of partial functionswith the efficiency of sorted calculi.