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Introduction to RobotML

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This page introduces the RobotML platform (see section below) as well as the the way to build the documentation you are reading (see Documentation How-to). There is, following, a section dedicated to indices and tables (see Indices and tables) and finally a list of websites linked to the platform (see Related websites).

RobotML Documentation

In the robotic domain, academic as well as industry, there is nowadays a need to describe more formally the system developed whatever they are. This need arises from several different considerations such as:

  • the robotic systems under development are more and more complex and only one person is not able to understand in detail the sub systems that it is composed of. To provide models instead of code is a way to simplify the presentation allowing someone of the team to understand the big picture when working the details of his / her proper module;
  • It is very difficult to the brick of impossible to understand complex behaviours when dealing directly with code in languages that can be very exotic to the common developer. To present a unified and standardised view of these behaviours allows for outsiders to understand more easily the top view and even details of the robot or robots systems presented;
  • Complex robot systems ask when developed to group many different people with many different skills (servoing, architectures, simulation, electromagnetism, vision and so on and so forth). There is a need to decouple the development activity as these different skills are so different it is not possible for any of them to understand all the other activities. Such a modelling approach helps to do exactly that;
  • For the time being there are no standardised way to present algorithms to other and thus to allow them to be sold without a specific ad hoc contractual approach. ROS is a first attempt to implement such a capability but it remains at an academic level and not independant from the platform or OS on which this algorithm will work. In other word, there is a need of such a standard to allow the emergence of an actual “parts for robots” market.

In order to answer the need demonstrated above a project (see PROTEUS) allowed to create a modelling language and other associated toolings which this documentation is foccussing on. Thus RobotML is a language associated to a platform linked to PAPYRUS tool and build upon ECLIPSE framework. The goal of this language is to answer the above problematics and thus to ease development of robotics application and to facilitate exchanges between roboticians and end-users.

RobotML documentation is decomposed in many parts. A presentation of its rationale is done in its introduction, then, instructions are provided in order to install the platform followed by some hints of how to use it through some examples. The following sections are providing in-depth information on the underlying language (the so-called meta-model), the different choices done in order to present the user modelling capabilities and finally the different generators add-ons with example of use. The last section is dedicated to the web portal and its interactions with the RobotML platform.

The last bit of important information is that each time it is necessary, the documentation will separate the user point of view from the developper one trying to limit the amount of knowledge to what is strictly deemed necessary.

More information on RobotML are available through its dedicated portal that is accessible directly following .


Documentation is written solely in English due to lack of resources that would have allowed at least a French version. The reason for this choice is the importance of dissemination and cooperation at the European Level (see projects such as BRICS).

Documentation How-to

The documentation you are reading has been generated using the sphinx tool. It is a part of the development in itself and here follows tho sections that explicits how to install the sphinx tool, where to find its associated documentation and provides a list of known bugs and frequently asked questions.

Indices and tables