About RCOS

A RCOS (Robot Control Operating System) is here defined as the basic software that allows robot control software to run. A RCOS must provide the following features:

  • Hardware abstraction
  • Low-level device control
  • Scheduling of hard/soft real-time tasks
  • Communication and synchronisation between tasks
  • Run-mode/run-level/runtime-configuration management and monitoring
  • Fault Detection, Isolation and Safing/Recovery
  • Filesystem access and filesystem  management
  • Networking
  • Consistent data types across communication, networking and file system operation
  • Logging/telemetry generation and command processing
  • Application Programming Interface for all the above functions

The European Space Agency (ESA) has initiated the SARGON activity as a first proof-of-concept for implementing a Robot Control Operating System that overcomes the above underlined issues and have the properties of:

  • Heritage on an existing body of robot control software
  • adequate RAMS attributes for industrial and space use
  • support for modularity and re-usability (of modules and/or entire applications)
  • an open standard implementation
  • a large community of developers and users