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Using Java for Real-Time Critical Industrial Robot Programming

Andreas Schierl, Andreas Angerer, Alwin Hoffmann, Michael Vistein, and Wolfgang Reif

Industrial robotics is characterized by sophisticated mechanical components and control algorithms. However, the efficient use of robotic systems is very much limited by existing programming methods which make software development complex and time-consuming. In order to overcome these shortcomings, the vision of the research project SoftRobot was to facilitate robotics software development, i.e. increase reuse and reduce development time, by providing "robotics" as just another API in Java which is currently the most popular programming language with billions of supported devices, millions of skilled software developers and a broad range of available libraries and tools. Hence, robotics software can be easily combined with those libraries and can be programmed using integrated development environments (e.g. Eclipse) with their rich built-in support for build management, revision control, or unit tests. In comparison to C/C++, Java is more comfortable to use and less error-prone due to its automatic memory management.
Workshop on Software Development and Integration in Robotics (SDIR VII), 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2012), St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, May 14, 2012


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