the Robot Construction Kit

Design Background

The General design of the Mars Integration of Rock follows the component-based design idea. Each Rock-Task is a MarsPlugin This provides low-level access to the underlying simulation instances. Another benifit is the syncronized access to the data structures without the need for locking.

Important: The drawback on this approach is that all simulation tasks need to be in the same deployment. Here, the MarsPlugin uses a singleton design pattern.

Each plugin provides the functionality that on a real system would be provided by the real hardware. This could be an actuator driver, IMU, sonar, laserscanner and so on. Because of this clear separation the simulation could be directly exchanged with the real robot and vice-versa. The simulation plugins provides the same functionality as the real-drivers; the same data-types are used. This makes the switch between simulation and real robot very smooth for Rock-Users.

Nevertheless, there are of course specific modules providing mixed functionalities or providing additional or even reduced functionality depending on the capabilities of the simulated device and the need for abstraction. However, the idea is to keep the tasks which represent a device as close as possible to the driver for the physical device.