Royal Academy of Engineering, London, UK, 13-14 November, 2019
RoboSoft is a two-day event to bring together researchers representing groups working on themes relevant for Software Engineering for Robotics, developers working on the next-generation of robotic systems in various areas of application, and regulation authorities interested in safety of robotic systems. With RoboSoft, we provide a platform to establish Software Engineering for Robotics as an important discipline in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. The objective is to establish a common understanding of the challenges that need to be faced to ensure that results are relevant to industrial practice and regulation.
The global market for robotics and autonomous systems is predicted to grow significantly in the coming years. A limiting factor for many applications, however, is safety; although many factors are involved in establishing safety of a robotic system, software development poses a key challenge.
The importance of Software Engineering has been recognised by the robotics community. For requirements and architectural modelling, model-based engineering has been applied and specialised. For simulation, there are a variety of commercial and academic tools. For deployment, several middleware provide conceptual insulation from low-level programming of particular robotic platforms. Several domain-specific languages are available, with focus on programming and simulation. Regarding verification, applications of general-purpose formal techniques have shown the value they can add.
There are, however, many open challenges. Integration, abstraction, specialisation, and automation need to be addressed to lower costs and achieve scalability, and relevance to industry and regulators. As a concrete outcome of RoboSoft, we will publish a compendium summarising the state of the art on Software Engineering for Robotics and identifying a research agenda.
A draft is available.