Universal Robot Bus


Cihan Ozturk
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Design and construction of small autonomous mobile robots involves interfacing, programming and deployment of sensor and actuator components on a robotic platform. Since management of various subsystems within a robot are carried out by these dedicated micro-controllers, data has to flow between these independent computational entities and a central authority. Facilitating this challenging task requires modularity and extensibility in both hardware and software components. The Universal Robot Bus (URB) is a modular, flexible, efficient and real-time infrastructural bus architecture based on the popular I2C bus standard. Its main purpose is real-time interfacing of local nodes with limited processing capability to control small sensor and actuator components which are physically distributed over a mobile robot platform, to a central processing unit (CPU). The architecture supports automatic synchronization of data acquisition across multiple nodes and provides high data bandwidth at low latencies. Flexible libraries are provided by the architecture for modular software development both for local nodes and the CPU. While physical connectivity between the local nodes are established by the I2C standard, various alternatives exist for the connectivity to the CPU. Currently, RS232 and USB connections are supported by the architecture, whose device drivers are implemented on Linux platform. In this talk, key features of URB, together with an overview of its design and performance are presented.


DATE: 21 April, 2008, Monday@ 16:40