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Eight Things that Robotics Foundational Software Solutions Need

POSTED 09/15/2023

Eight Things that Robotics Foundational Software Solutions Need

Robotics includes everything from ultra-high precision medical devices to gantries in factories and warehouses, autonomous home vacuum cleaners, and beyond. Thanks to advances in embedded hardware and software, there are few domains where robotics systems aren’t already essential, and new possibilities are constantly emerging. It is no wonder, then, that investments in new robotics companies continue to grow, and that in many mature industries robotics present ideal new cost-saving and revenue opportunities. Despite the vast differences in the environments where they are used and the tasks they carry out, robotics systems share a great deal in common, and require much of the same characteristics and behavior in their foundational software.

Whether they are in your corner diner working cooperatively with the staff to prepare food then deliver it to patrons at their tables, or scouring the ocean floor counting manganese nodules, robotics systems need:  

RELIABILITY: The OS and hypervisor must perform as specified, without failures, for as long as required without a restart, be that a few hours or a few decades.

PERFORMANCE: The OS and hypervisor must consistently provide specified performance and, especially, ensure that critical tasks run and complete deterministically

SECURE CONNECTIVITY: System connectivity should be robust, versatile and secure, making available the best communications channels for diverse operating environments.

SAFETY CERTIFICATION:  Both software and hardware should be certified to functional safety standards to mitigate risks of systematic and random faults that could result in accidents.

DIVERSE SYSTEMS AND MIXED CRITICALITY:  The foundational software often must support running safety-critical and non-safety components on the same system-on-a-chip (SoC).

COMPREHENSIVE CYBERSECURITY:  A system is only as safe as it is secure; the foundational software must ensure protection from malicious interference.

DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE:  Development tools must be familiar and standards-based so you can focus on value add.

SYSTEM LONGEVITY: Hardware upgrades must not render legacy code obsolete, and software upgrades must be simple to perform and bring minimal risk.

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