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Brock TR # CS-04-05 Abstract

Safety aspects of autonomous robot software development    [PDF]
J.A. Barchanski, February 2004.

This paper is concerned with safety aspects of autonomous robot software development. Autonomous robots may operate unattended and through an unsafe operation may cause significant human, economic, or mission losses. Similar problems were encountered early on in manufacturing automation; but autonomous robots may change their behavior and operate in much less controlled environments. We concentrate in this paper on the safety of robot control software. This software allows unprecedented complexity of robotic systems, which goes beyond the ability of current engineering techniques for assuring acceptable risk. Accidents arise due to robot autonomy or adaptability or as a result of the interactions among the components of the robot control architecture. We discuss shortly safety aspects of those features. We conclude the paper with description of a robot software development process taking into account safety constraints.