TORP: The Open Robot Project A Framework for Module-Based Robots
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The development of robots has shown itself as a very complex interdisciplinary research field. The predominant procedure for these developments in the last decades is based on the assumption that each robot is a fully personalized project, with the direct embedding of hardware and software technologies in robot parts with no level of abstraction. Although this methodology has brought countless benefits to the robotics research, on the other hand, it has imposed major drawbacks: (i) the difficulty to reuse hardware and software parts in new robots or new versions; (ii) the difficulty to compare performance of different robots parts; and (iii) the difficulty to adapt development needs-in hardware and software levels-to local groups expertise. Large advances might be reached, for example, if physical parts of a robot could be reused in a different robot constructed with other technologies by other researcher or group. This paper proposes a framework for robots, TORP (The Open Robot Project), that aims to put forward a standardization in all dimensions (electrical, mechanical and computational) of a robot shared development model. This architecture is based on the dissociation between the robot and its parts, and between the robot parts and their technologies. In this paper, the first specification for a TORP family and the first humanoid robot constructed following the TORP specification set are presented, as well as the advances proposed for their improvement.
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