Automatic Code Generation in Practice: Experiences with Embedded Robot Controllers
Mobile robots often use a distributed architecture in which software components are deployed to heterogeneous hardware modules. Ensuring the consistency with the designed architecture is a complex task, notably if functional safety requirements have to be fulfilled. We propose to use a domain-specific language to specify those requirements and to allow for generating a safety-enforcing layer of code, which is deployed to the robot. The paper at hand reports experiences in practically applying code generation to mobile robots. For two cases, we discuss how we addressed challenges, e.g., regarding weaving code generation into proprietary development environments and testing of manually written code. We find that a DSL based on the same conceptual model can be used across different kinds of hardware modules, but a significant adaptation effort is required in practical scenarios involving different kinds of hardware.
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