EEUM professor develops tool to reduce robot costs

New tool reduces the cost of robots and increases their reliability and safety

Whether to clean our homes, manufacture products or even disable bombs, robotics is increasingly used, as it performs tasks faster and more efficiently. Focusing on the development of safer high-quality robotic applications, with lower costs, the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC) created the HAROS tool within the scope of the SAFER project – Safety verification for robotic software.

“Previously, users had to understand formal methods and learn various tools individually. Now, this tool can automatically extract a formal model from an application developed with the popular ROS (Robotic Operating System) to detect potential issues, and calculate a series of quality metrics”, explained Alcino Cunha, researcher at INESC TEC and professor at the School of Engineering of the University of Minho. “In the laboratory, for instance, HAROS has already detected several problems: from poorly assembled configurations to certain cases where the robot would not respect the speed limits”, said André Santos, INESC TEC researcher responsible for developing the solution.

The HAROS tool receives regular contributions from the scientific community, namely from other countries like Denmark and Germany. Over the upcoming years, several institutions – in particular the collaborative laboratory VORTEX – will invest in the development of a new version of HAROS, capable of analysing the ROS2 code.

HAROS is available on the github repository and it can be used by laboratories and companies that develop robotic code with ROS.

The project was financed by the European Union and national public funds, receiving around €250K.

The INESC TEC researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with UMinho and UP-FEUP.