A Standard Architecture for Controlling Robots
This paper describes a fully implemented computational architecture that controls the Utah-MIT dextrous hand and other complex robots. Robots like the Utah-MIT hand are characterized by large numbers of actuators and sensors, and require high servo rates. Consequently, powerful and flexible computer architectures are needed to control them. The architecture described in this paper derives its power from the highly efficient real-time environment provided for its control processors, coupled with a development host that enables flexible program development. By mapping the memory of a dedicated group of processors into the address space of a host computer, efficient sharing of system resources between them is possible. The software is characterized by a few simple design concepts but provides the facilities out of which more powerful utilities like multi-processor pseudoterminal emulator, a transparent and fast file server, and a flexible symbolic debugger could be constructed.