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Testbed Software

Several of the core software elements on K11 are adopted, or being adopted, from the Service-Oriented Robotic Architecture (SORA) developed by the Intelligent Robotics Group. This includes the navigation software; the middleware, based on Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) and Adaptive Communication Environment (ACE); and the telemetry software, the Robot Application Programming Interface Delegate (RAPID).

The smartphone (running Google Android 2.2 operating system) hosts a data acquisition module written in Java. That module collects data from the phone’s sensors (described in the previous section) and sends it over a User Datagram Protocol (UDP) socket to the onboard computer. The central data acquisition software running on the computer receives the phone data, merges it with data received from other sources (e.g., voltage sensors, current sensors, controller state, etc) and records it into a unified data file, which can then be transmitted to the ground control station. The central data acquisition software on the K11 is based on LabView from National Instruments.

The ground station graphical user interface (GUI) software is also written in LabView. It allows the operator to take manual control of the rover (via on-screen commands or a joystick) and to set data recording preferences. The operator can switch the GUI from interacting with the K11 hardware to interacting with the K11 simulator. One of the goals in developing the simulator is to make the difference in interacting with it versus the rover hardware as minimal as possible. The operating system currently used on both the onboard computer and the ground station is Microsoft Windows XP.

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