Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe a generic software framework for development of agricultural and forestry robots. The primary goal is to provide generic high-level functionality and to encourage distributed and structured programming, thus leading to faster and simplified development of robots. A secondary goal is to investigate the value of several architecture views when describing different software aspects of a robotics system.
Design/methodology/approach – The framework is constructed with a hybrid robot architecture, with a static state machine that implements a flow diagram describing each specific robot. Furthermore, generic modules for GUI, resource management, performance monitoring, and error handling are included. The framework is described with logical, development, process, and physical architecture views.
Findings – The multiple architecture views provide complementary information that is valuable both during and after the design phase. The framework has been shown to be efficient and time saving when integrating work by several partners in several robotics projects. Although the framework is guided by the specific needs of harvesting agricultural robots, the result is believed to be of general value for development also of other types of robots.
Originality/value – In this paper, the authors present a novel generic framework for development of agricultural and forestry robots. The robot architecture uses a state machine as replacement for the planner commonly found in other hybrid architectures. The framework is described with multiple architecture views.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013. Vol. 40, no 1, 20-26 p.