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User Guide to PLAYER/JADE Robotic Software Architecture

User Guide to PLAYER/JADE Robotic Software Architecture

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Published by: hlophek on Nov 24, 2009
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09/17/2010

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User guide to PLAYER/JADE robotic software architecture
Nils Ole TippenhauerAugust 16, 2005
Abstract
This guide will show how to execute the programs written for my research project on ”AMulti-Robot Architecture for Autonomous Cooperative Behaviourson the iRobot robots inthe PAMI lab using the PLAYER and JADE software. It is written for use by the researchersworking with the robots. Basic knowledge of the robots and the software used (see my projectreport) is required, Linux experience definitely helpful.
Contents
3.0.1 General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33.0.2 Firewall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33.0.3 User setup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
4.1 RobotMgr on Min1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34.2 RobotMgr on the Magellans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
5.1 Starting PLAYER server and clients. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45.2 Starting PLAYER to use STAGE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
6.1 Starting JADE manually. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56.2 Starting JADE using the bash scripts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76.3 Sending test messages to agents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76.4 Communication between PLAYER and JADE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
 
7.1 Variables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97.1.1 globalPeriod. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97.1.2 moveTimer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97.1.3 currentSpeed, currentAngle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107.1.4 currentX, currentY, currentYaw. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107.1.5 AID[] playerAgents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107.1.6 HashMap agentData. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
8.1 PlayerAgentShadow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108.2 Adding own behaviours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118.3 Remotely killing behaviours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118.4 Error handling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1 General notes on the working environment
I used a Linux operating system on my PC to develop the used software. I strongly suggestthis environment to make full use of client programs provided by PLAYER such as playerv, thevideoplayer program and last but not least STAGE and GAZEBO as simulators as there is nonative
1
windows version of those programs. If you’re considering starting with Linux but are notafraid of getting your hands dirty try Ubuntu Linux, I prefer Gentoo which is for a bit moreadvanced users I guess (no installation assistant for example, you are basically configuring thesystem by hand).
2 Robot hardware
I could not get the batteries for min2 and min3 to work, neither the spare ones. The BIOSbattery of min1 is empty so settings are reseted ever time the robot get disconnected from thepower supply. For this reason a keyboard need to be connected to min1 at the boot time and F1has to be pressed to ignore a BIOS checksum error found. This is only the case with min1, themagellans work fine.The automatic shutdown via the rFlex interface/button on the robot is not powering down therobot completely after it has been shutdown because it waits for the line ”System halted.” toappear on the screen - which changed to a slightly different line in the newer kernels. I’msometimes having troubles to get the serial connection to the PTZ unit to work - but this issolved in most of the times by rebooting/ reconnecting the hardware, the wiring is definitely OK.
1
To run Linux apps in Windows see [5]for an example
2
 
While I was testing PLAYER I also tried the stereo camera on min1 - it seems to work as I coulddisplay its stream via PLAYER/videoplayer on my laptop.
3 Fedora Core 3 setup
3.0.1 General
Nothing too special about the installation, I tried to install only the minimum requirementwithout the X server overhead for example to keep the image’s size small. The rights for theserial connection had to be set, the shutdown per rFLex interface enabled as Ben describes it inhis INSTALL of the robotmgr. I’m having problems with the yum update system so I installedmost specialised packages on my own because I couldn’t find them with
yum search foo
. Thewireless card is managed by a special controller so its only necessary to include drivers for thenetwork interface, throughput is awfully slow though.When you boot the robot it will probably try to run the redhat hardware detection to find newdevices, which is unreadable on the small screen of the robot. It will time out after 30 secondsand continue to boot.
3.0.2 Firewall
The firewall can be modified with the Fedora tool
system-configure-security
. I enabled somestandard ports like HTTP (needed for JADE), ssh and ports for PLAYER and JADE.
3.0.3 User setup
Apart from the root user I added only one further user: mobility. The password for root andmobility won’t be written here.
4 RobotMgr
4.1 RobotMgr on Min1
I didn’t try RobotMgr on the ATRVs but I assume that some changes have to be made forit to work like on the Magellans. Like I described in my report the rFlex device uses its ownabstract units for distance and angle measurement which differ on the ATRVs and the Magellans.PLAYER uses a variable to convert between those abstract values and the real values in mmand degree - and those variables differ a lot between those two robot classes. This has to beconsidered when using RobotMgr on the ATRVs.3

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