IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

Map Data Representation

Map Data Representation (Franceso Amigoni et al., Polimi)

The Robot Map Data Representation (MDR) Working Group has created the "1873-2015 IEEE Standard for Robot Map Data Representation for Navigation", which has been approved by IEEE Standards Association in Fall 2015. The standard provides a common representation and encoding for the map data used for navigation by mobile robots, which can be used when exchanging map data between systems, particularly those that are developed by different parties. The standard focuses on data models and data formats for two-dimensional (2D) metric and topological maps. 

Current activities of the WG include the dissemination of the main ideas and reference implementations of converters for the existing 2D standard and the start of the development of a new standard for representing three-dimensional (3D) maps, trying to involve the main academic and industrial stakeholders.

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Autonomous Robotics Group

Autonomous Robotics Group (Howard Li et al., UNB)

The AuR group aims to extend the CORA to represent more specific concepts and axioms that are commonly used in the Autonomous Robotics. Therefore, AuR is performing a wide study in different R&A domains (e.g. aerial, ground, surface, underwater, and space robots) to identify the basic components in terms of hardware and software that are necessary to endow a robot (or a group of) with autonomy, i.e., endow robots with the ability to perform desired tasks in unstructured environments without continuous explicit human guidance. As a long-term goal, AuR targets to create a standard ontology that specifies the domain knowledge needed to build autonomous systems comprised of robots that can operate in the air, ground, space, and underwater environments.

 The AuR sub-group has been meeting regularly. We have identified the following tasks for the group:

- Examine the impact of existing work (CORA and CORAX) on developing ontologies for Autonomous Robots;

- Determine and establish focus areas for ontological development efforts - axioms and vocabulary;

- Investigate case studies based on reference designs;

- Obtain letters from companies and individuals around the globe supporting our activities;

- Prepare the Working Group proposal.

Industrial Robot Oncology

Industrial Robot Ontology (Craig Schlenoff et al., NIST)


Previously, the group has been working on the assumption that the initial work would focus on the Canonical Robot Command Language (CRCL), which is a robot-agnostic messaging language initially developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and would then be expanded to the more general domain of autonomous kit building. This had the advantage of developing a standard for robot interoperability at a low-level, while verifying that this protocol worked by applying it to a simple, but realistic industrial domain.

During their most recent discussions at ICRA2016, it was brought up that the kitting domain is of limited scope. It was feared that while this domain would be useful in proving out our concepts, it may not garner the industrial support that is necessary for the standard to be put into practice. Furthermore, it was not immediately clear that the kitting ontology would be easily extensible to other domains such as welding or full product assembly. It was also pointed out that CRCL could be thought of as an instantiation of a low-level command schema. Due to these limitations, it was suggested that the group refocus their effort on more cross-cutting terms and structures. The suggestions was made that we formulate a standard that addresses the way that hierarchical planners can communicate between levels of a hierarchy. This would include information such as tasks, plans, actions, skills, etc. and would include preconditions and effects of each action.

In this approach, CRCL would become an instance of the lowest level “command” schema, and kitting would become an application that could be used to test the entire command/plan framework.

This concept was proposed to the group as a whole (including those that were not able to attend ICRA) and there was widespread support for this new approach. The group will be writing the Project Authorization Request (PAR), due in September 2016, to become an official IEEE standards group around this concept of developing a standard robotic hierarchical planning architecture.

Wearable Robotics Standard

Wearable Robotics (Thomas Sugar et al., Arizona SU)

The standing committee met most recently at the WearRAcon 16 meeting in Phoenix on Feb 10-12, 2016. Five workshops were held on ISO, IEC and IEEE Standards for Wearable Robotics, Test methods for Wearable Robotics, Challenges in Interoperability of Wearable Robotics, Cybersecurity of Wearable Robotics, and Ergonomic Issues for Wearable Robotics. It was agreed to focus on wearable robots for manufacturing and industry and not focus on medical related devices. There are no standards currently for military exoskeletons, exoskeletons for construction, and industrial exoskeletons. A truly open area is to develop standards for cybersecurity

Dr. Tom Sugar is hosting some webinars on Test Methods to determine the interest and focus. Currently, the group has talked about focusing on three industrial tasks: working on something with arms raised above your head, holding a heavy object at shoulder height, and lifting and palletizing objects.

The group has articulated three recommendations:

1) Focus on wearable robots for manufacturing.  Initial buyers seemed to fall into two groups, medical related and manufacturing related.  Our goal is to focus on manufacturing related exoskeletons.  Devices that help people move or walk faster.  These systems will be semi-autonomous with a human driver in-the-loop.

2) Develop standards for military exoskeletons, construction exoskeletons and industrial exoskeletons.  There are no standards being developed currently for these types of exoskeletons (Fig. 1.)

3)  Develop standards for cybersecurity for wearable systems.  Open area

Gaps in Current Safety Standardization

Figure: ISO standards are detailed for the different categories.  There are no standards for wearable robots used in construction and industry.  Also, military-style, physical assistant robots are not covered under ISO 13482. (Figure courtesy of ISO at the WearRAcon 16 conference)

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