HRIM aims to complement ROS with a standardization effort focused on hardware. It is a model that defines the software interface which the different robot components have to meet in order interoperate seamlessly.

The general structure in which all the HRIM component models are based on. Each component has topics, services, parameters and actions to communicate. For each one of these abstractions, the figure illustrates that some will be mandatory and some others optional.

Source and extended article: “An information model for modular robots: the Hardware Robot Information Model (HRIM) Irati Zamalloa, Iñigo Muguruza, Alejandro Hernández, Risto Kojcev and Víctor Mayoral.

One of the main hurdles of the robotics transformation is the lack of integrative standards. A global standard for plug-and-play robotics would be instrumental for transforming the structure of the industry and dramatically reducing costs, therefore facilitating the applications of robotics to all domains of modern society.

It would ease interoperability and reusability and significantly contribute to the development of relevant hardware and software which can quickly be assembled for solving any specific task at hand.

Seamless and unambiguous communication between robots and their components has been a popular topic in research. Similar to humans, robots require a common and well defined vocabulary for communication among them. An intermediate standard language with clear and well defined terms essential for inter and intra robot interoperability.

In an attempt to create standards and international agreements several ontologies have been produced in the domain of robotics, however these models still have not been accepted neither translated to industry.

Getting inspiration from those previous results, this article defines a model for robot hardware created through interactions with robot hardware vendors and implemented using the widely spread Robot Operating System (ROS).

HRIM aims to complement ROS with a standardization effort focused on hardware. It is a model that defines the software interface which the different robot components have to meet in order interoperate seamlessly.

It is designed to be implemented by companies which are manufacturing modular hardware components, in order to facilitate the integration effort when building robots.

Comparing to other related work and standards, HRIM aims for generality, which is essential for acceptance of the model and for achieving global hardware standardization of robotic components.

The article contains different subsections, focused on explaining the concepts of HRIM and its potential benefits for applicability in robotics.

  • First the classification of hardware modules is explained.
  • Then, the naming convention followed within HRIM is described.
  • Then the HRIM general structure is explained.
  • Finally, an HRIM component model example is provided: the model of a servomotor module, which helps understanding the whole explained theory in a real context.

To continue reading: An information model for modular robots: the Hardware Robot Information Model (HRIM)

To know more about HRIM, click here.