The complexity of robotic systems is increasing at a high rate. As Moore’s law is still with us, computing power is not restricting us to significantly extend our system boundaries and to use complex algorithms – like artificial intelligence – to involve all data we can reach over the internet. Moreover, with robots coming out or their cages, collaborative robots even bring the human body and mind within the system boundary. To deal with this complexity, the robotics community relies on a multitude of tools, software platforms and data processing algorithms. Nevertheless, robotics is heavily lacking of methods to make the right architectural decisions to guarantee the performance of these Systems-of-Systems. Therefore, connecting the worlds of Robotics and Systems-of-Systems Engineering has great potential for both fields.
Two examples will be presented to illustrate how robotics and SoSE relate. The first example elaborates upon the SoS challenges of the Industry 4.0 movement, and how the middleware platform called ‘ROS’ – Robot Operating System – controls the interactions between the systems in a loosely standardized manner. The second example illustrates how a band of music playing robots (www.teamdare.nl) has emerged from individually developed robots, keeping in mind that for a band to sound right a carefully thought through joint performance is crucial. The right timing, dynamics, tempo, and tuning has to be realized to ensure the appreciation of the audience.
Heico Sandee is managing director of Smart Robotics. Heico has a doctorate and over 15 years of experience in robotics development. Heico (1978) received his MSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), The Netherlands, in 2002. In 2006 he obtained his PhD degree in the Control Systems group of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, TU/e, on the subject of Event-Driven Control, in the Boderc project at the Embedded Systems Institute. In 2005 he visited the Mechanical Systems Control Laboratory at UC Berkeley, California, USA, for which he received an NWO grant. From December 2006, he worked as a mechatronic system developer at Océ Technologies. From 2010 until 2013 he was program manager at the Robotics at the Eindhoven University of Technology. From 2013 until 2015 he was Technical Manager at Alten Netherlands. May 2015 he co-founded Smart Robotics together with Mark Menting. Heico’s personal interests are music, sports and robotics (www.teamdare.nl).