Integrating Hard and Soft Real-Time Communication in Autonomous Robot Systems

Michael MOCK  Edgar NETT  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E83-B   No.5   pp.1067-1074
Publication Date: 2000/05/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (IEICE/IEEE Joint Special Issue on Autonomous Decentralized Systems)
Category: Novel Applications
real-time communication,  multiple-access bus,  TDMA,  control system,  robotic system,  

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Designing control and robotic systems as autonomous decentralized systems introduces a new degree of flexibility in the manufacturing and in the application of such systems. This flexibility is required for the systems to work in environments that are not totally predictable and that can change dynamically. In this paper, we present a new concept for real-time communication that supports this flexibility while still preserving real-time guarantees for hard real-time communication. The concept is designed to work on multiple-access busses. In particular, we consider its application on wireless local area networks and field-busses. The concept addresses requirements of hard-real time, soft real-time and non real-time communication. For this, we extend the TDMA (time- division multiple-access) approach for time-triggered hard-real time communication by the concept of shared channels that support event-triggered communication and coexist with hard real-time channels. A first implementation of concept has been carried out in the context of the CAN-bus.