• Interoperable robotics proving grounds: Investing in future-ready testing infrastructures

Sareh, Sina, Badia, Oriol, Skilton, Robert, Kovac, Mirko, Hauert, Sabine, Phillips, Alexander, Cole, Edward, Richardson, Robert and Montano, Giuseppe Napo, 2023, Printed Publication, Interoperable robotics proving grounds: Investing in future-ready testing infrastructures

Abstract or Description:

The increasing adoption of robots in industrial applications demands seamless communication and collaboration among a diverse range of robotic systems, a phenomenon known as interoperability. The urgency for interoperability arises from the ever-expanding use cases and innovations in robotic systems from various vendors, necessitating secure, scalable, and shareable multi-vendor interaction. However, several challenges hinder the effective implementation of interoperability, such as rapid technological changes, lack of standardisation, proprietary technologies, different levels of system autonomy, safety and security concerns, incompatibility with legacy systems, and a shortage of skilled professionals in the area.

This white paper delves into the nuances of interoperability in robotics proving groundsn(also known as test beds) and offers insights into the capabilities and limitations of the current landscape. It advocates for the development of standardised testing environments, along with rigorous experimental methods and metrics. These tools are crucial for shaping regulations, attaining certifications, and effectively managing the capabilities of interoperable assets throughout their lifecycle. Assessing government initiatives' efficacy and suppliers' compliance with interoperability standards is paramount.

The United Kingdom is strategically positioned to be a significant player in robotics interoperability, courtesy of its strong foothold in the energy and transport industries, such as offshore and aerospace, and an impressive network of research intensive universities and collaborative platforms. These institutions are engaged in pioneering research in areas such as modelling bio-inspired swarm systems, multi-robot coordination, sensor fusion, advanced communication, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

To capitalise on the UK's capabilities in robotics, the white paper recommends a multi-pronged approach. It advocates for the government to nominate experts from various sectors to participate in both national and international standardisation activities, and to establish national committees focused on robotics interoperability standards. Encouraging partnerships among government, academia, and industry is also crucial, with a focus on pre-competitive collaboration to accelerate industry growth. It is recommended to establish proving grounds and research centres for practical experimentation and development in robotics interoperability.

Furthermore, the UK should actively adopt and implement international standards for robotics interoperability, particularly in government-run programmes to set a benchmark for the private sector. Alignment of national regulations with international standards is essential, along with continual updates to facilitate standard adoption. The white paper also suggests supporting pilot projects that emphasise standardisation in robotics interoperability and highlights the importance of demonstrating the benefits through case studies. Organising competitions and challenges that incentivise the development of interoperable robotic solutions based on standard protocols is encouraged. Lastly, financial backing for standardisation efforts, including sponsoring participation in standardisation committees and funding research into standards development, is deemed essential.

Official URL: https://www.ukras.org.uk/publications/white-papers...
Subjects: Other > Engineering > H100 General Engineering > H110 Integrated Engineering
Other > Engineering > H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
School or Centre: Other
School of Design
Funders: EPSRC
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.31256/WP2023.2
Additional Information:

ISSN: 2398-4422

Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2023 14:39
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 14:39
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5467
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