A flexible open source solution for distributed robotics and automation.
Use our unique framework to automate assembly workflows in an intuitive but yet enormously efficient way. Integrate sensor, actuator and cognitive devices in seconds, teach complex processes in minutes and run your application on a distributed system for years.
July 27, 2010
Robots are common in industrial production setups. They accompany assembly lines all over the world, as they have interesting properties for production processes: they never tire, provide high accuracy, and are able to work in environments not suitable for humans. Still, today's industrial robots are often limited to very specific tasks, as they have to be taught, i.e., statically programmed, in advance.
But times change and as production scenarios become more complex, industrial applications tend to require greater flexibility...
The cornerstones of the Flexible Robotics Framework (FRF) are the following:
July 29, 2010
A core principle in designing flexible open source software is to think about the community. Hence following the open source philosophy, we rely solely on components that have been developed by the community. We are building software not primarily for ourselves, i.e., to be useful for individual usage, but instead to be accessible and most of all easy to use for everyone out there.
Ease of use has been defined in many different ways. In our understanding, easy to use means specifically to minimize the difficulties of getting started. Unfortunately this is somewhat contradicting the principle of open source, since open source development often comes along with problems like incompatibility, and buggy or unstable pieces of code, etc.
Luckily in the open source community on operating system level, excellent and well maintained distributions exist. One of the most wide-spread and well known of them is Ubuntu. Thus, we chose to build a software suite, that only has external software dependencies to packages maintained in the Ubuntu repositories.
August 3, 2010
A FRF-application is per design, and without any additional modification, capable to run on an single-core PCs, multi-core PCs or even distributes on computing clusters. It's only a matter of how many processing resources you plug in - you don't need to know at compile-time. The next time you start your application, it is automatically distributed for load-balancing. Again, standard technology is used for this purpose, i.e., an implementation of the Message Passing Interface (MPI), shipped as a package within Ubuntu, the MPICH2.
As any other state-of-the-art software should be, the Flexible Robotics Framework is built modularily following the object-oriented programming paradigm. For convenience, the FRF core module provides everything needed to build a distributed application - developers don't need to care about the details.