[ros-users] Robot Task Description Format - Potential REP

Moritz Tenorth tenorth at cs.uni-bremen.de
Mon Apr 15 09:32:39 UTC 2013


part of this seems indeed similar to what we are working on in the 
RoboEarth project. The project aims at establishing a web-based 
knowledge base through which robots can exchange information about 
actions, objects and environments (diff. kinds of maps) among each 
other, similar to  Wikipedia for humans.

As part of this effort, we have worked on formal semantic 
representations for this kind of information [1]. The "action recipes" 
are encoded in OWL, an XML-based formal language used in the Semantic 
Web. They can describe actions, their properties (e.g. objectActedOn, 
fromLocation,...), their arrangement in a task (sequences, partial 
orderings, FSM-like structures), as well as relations to objects or 
spatial concepts (points, trajectories).

Since the recipes are described in the same language as object models 
and environment maps, it is possible to link these kinds of information, 
for example to parameterize an action with the spatial layout described 
in a semantic environment map.

So if there will be an effort to define such a format, we'd be happy to 
share our experiences and contribute to its definition.


[1] Moritz Tenorth, Alexander Clifford Perzylo, Reinhard Lafrenz, 
Michael Beetz, "The RoboEarth language: Representing and Exchanging 
Knowledge about Actions, Objects, and Environments", /In IEEE 
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)/, St. Paul, 
MN, USA, 2012.

On 04/12/2013 10:28 PM, rdean at gdrs.com wrote:
> You may want to check out what RoboEarth has already done, I remember 
> from an ICRA presentation that they were sharing task descriptions 
> between different robots.  This may or may not cover your area of 
> interest, or may have a core lexicon you could extend.
> *From:*ros-users-bounces at code.ros.org 
> [mailto:ros-users-bounces at code.ros.org] *On Behalf Of *Edwards, Shaun M.
> *Sent:* Friday, April 12, 2013 10:40 AM
> *To:* ros-users at code.ros.org
> *Subject:* [ros-users] Robot Task Description Format - Potential REP
> All,
> Recently we have had several projects that have required us to follow 
> a predetermined path (i.e. a set of waypoints that are determined 
> offline)  To achieve this we have used csv or yaml files (with joint 
> points and Cartesian positions) or in some cases just hardcoded the 
> path in the source file.  I have searched through ROS and asked 
> questions on ROS answers, but there doesn't seem to be anything built 
> into ROS to support this functionality in a generic way.  To 
> illustrate the need, here are several use cases:
> ·3D model/data to robot path -- Several applications require a robot 
> path be defined using a 3D model.  For these applications, we often 
> use a CAD system (or 3D models in general) to define the Cartesian 
> robot path.  Example applications include, robotic painting, grinding, 
> deburring, mold trimming, inspection, etc...  The Cartesian path is 
> then turned into a robot joint path at runtime.
> ·Robot path teaching -- Not all applications require intelligent path 
> planning.  There are some applications that can be solved (at least 
> partially) by teaching a robot a desired path (i.e. a set of waypoints 
> to execute repeatedly).  New robots, such as Baxter, illustrate this 
> capability by allowing a human operator to move an arm and record 
> waypoints.  Note, this is not as easy as simply recording joint 
> positions.  For some applications, you may want to record Cartesian 
> positions or specify that a path segment between waypoints be executed 
> using a linear trajectory.  Because of these requirements, the 
> recorded path/trajectory is more than a joint trajectory.
> ·High level scripting -- Several robot tasks, such as static pick and 
> place, include lots of scripted motion and process data.  Move to A, 
> open gripper, Move to B, close gripper.  In a typical ROS approach, 
> positions are stored in yaml files and motion order and process data 
> is captured in code.  Any change in the logic or order of operations 
> requires a code change and rebuild.  A task description format could 
> capture this information generically in a single place and allow on 
> the fly configuration of nodes that execute the motion.  Note, that in 
> this use case, IO operations (i.e. open gripper) are also required.
> These use cases lead me to believe that a Robot Task Description 
> Format (RTDF), similar to a URDF would be useful.  I have put together 
> a minimal example here [1], but would like to expand upon it to meet 
> all the requirements of the use cases above and others.
> I would like to gage the community interest in the need for such a 
> file format.  If the interest is great enough then I will move forward 
> with creating an official REP.
> Thanks for your consideration,
> Shaun Edwards
> Senior Research Engineer
> Manufacturing System Department
> http://robotics.swri.org
> http://rosindustrial.swri.org/
> http://ros.swri.org <http://ros.swri.org/>
> Join the ROS-Industrial Developers List 
> <https://groups.google.com/group/swri-ros-pkg-dev/boxsubscribe>
> Southwest Research Institute
> 210-522-3277
> [1] 
> https://github.com/mtconnect/ros_bridge/blob/master/mtconnect_example/mtconnect_cnc_robot_example/config/m16ib20/task_description.xml
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Dr. Moritz Tenorth     | tenorth at cs.uni-bremen.de
Universität Bremen     | Am Fallturm 1
29359 Bremen           | Germany
Tel: +49 421 218-64016 | ai.uni-bremen.de/team/moritz_tenorth

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