Visible to the public A CPS Approach to Robot Design


Analytically predicting the behavior of physical systems is generally not possible. For example, the three dimensional nature of physical systems makes it provably impossible to express closed-form analytical solutions for even the simplest systems. This makes experimentation the primary modality for designing new cyber-physical systems. Since physical prototyping and experiments are typically costly and hard to conduct, "virtual experiments" in the form of modeling and simulation can dramatically accelerate innovation in CPS development. Unfortunately, major technical challenges often impede the effective use of modeling and simulation in CPS design. This project is focused on developing better foundations and tools for modeling and simulating physical systems in robotics, which we believe is representative of many other CPS domains. To this end, the project consists of four activities: 1) Compiling and analyzing a benchmark suite for modeling and simulating robots, 2) Developing a meta-theory and a testbed for robot modeling and simulation, 3) Validating the research results of the project using two state-of-the-art robot platforms 4) Developing course materials incorporating the project's research results and testbed.

During the first year, the project team:

  1. Developed a better understanding of the limitations of existing tools such as MATLAB, LabView, and Simulink;

  2. Demonstrated that a small hybrid modeling language (Core Acumen) can be highly expressive in capturing models for a variety of CPS systems;

  3. Devised a simulation semantics that computes a validated enclosure for hybrid systems, including ones that exhibit certain kinds of Zeno behavior;

  4. Developed a better understanding of the process involved in developing one novel robot system;

  5. Demonstrated that exact real-arithmetic and other forms of self-validating real arithmetic (such as affine arithmetic and interval arithmetic) have the potential for serving as the foundations for a new and more precise approach to modeling and simulation in CPS.

  6. Developed a new CPS course using Core Acumen that was initially taught in the Embedded and Intelligent Systems (EIS) Masters program at Halmstad University.

More information about the project and it's software testbed (Acumen) can be found at the web-page

Award ID: 1136099

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A CPS Approach to Robot Design