RTI's software speeds unmanned system, robotic development

07/09/2002


Orlando, Fla.— Real-Time Innovations (RTI, Sunnyvale, Calif.) unveiled its new software platform for unmanned systems, Constellation, on July 9 at the AUVSI Symposium and Conference. RTI says its software provides a framework, components, and tools that simplify unmanned system programming, from initial design through field configuration. The firm adds that Constellation is the first commercial, off-the-shelf platform designed specifically for unmanned systems.

"The Constellation framework and reusable components reduced our development effort by as much as 50% in some phases of our Quest underwater ROV development," says Aaron Needles, senior software engineer at Alstom Schilling Robotics, a developer of telerobotic manipulator systems and remotely operated vehicles. "In addition, Constellation's tool-chain streamlined development so much we could move engineers into other areas sooner than planned."

RTI reports that Constellation provides a foundation on which any unmanned system can be built. Historically, developers produced their own software platforms, often for each new system, a process that was expensive and risky. Constellation provides a complete software platform for unmanned systems, from a field-proven framework to an end-to-end tool chain. The framework provides a flexible architecture on which developers can build modular solutions from reusable components. The tool chain provides a graphical development environment that covers requirements analysis, software design, controls design, project management, networking, revision control, system integration, simulation, testing and debugging.

"Constellation is a new approach to complex control system development. We've integrated the best tools and standards for developing complex systems. Some are RTI products, and some are best-in-class from other vendors. It will change the way unmanned system developers build their products," says Dr. Stan Schneider, RTI's ceo. "With Constellation, developers can use UML to speed the design process; turn their Simulink models directly into working code; build and test subsystems incrementally; and stop worrying whether their framework will scale as the project increases in complexity.'

RTI adds that Constellation has been field-tested in unmanned systems, and has shown that an off-the-shelf framework and end-to-end tool-chain can be used in a variety of applications. For example, Alstom Schilling uses Constellation in three product lines, its Titan and Conan manipulators and Quest ROV. Other customers include iRobot, which uses Constellation in its PacBot; NASA's Robot Systems Technology Branch at the Johnson Space Center, which uses Constellation in the Robonaut anthropomorphic robotic system; and Stanford University's Aerospace Robotics Lab, which is using Constellation in several projects.

"Students in the lab have been using Constellation technology for years in projects as varied as an underwater ROV, autonomous, radio-controlled helicopter, and robotic manipulator. Today, we have four different projects using Constellation,' says Dr. Stephen Rock, director of

Control Engineering Daily News Desk

Jim Montague, news editor

jmontague@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.