Starting position and vision
Service robots are usually highly specialized systems whose control software is tailored to a specific application. The high effort involved in creating specially tailored systems makes it more flexible and thus more cost-effective to use, even though the service robotics potentials have been valued favorably for years and this potential is also reflected in rising sales in certain segments worldwide. The high costs of software development per use case are currently a core problem for the establishment of further application domains in service robotics. These high development costs are due, among other things, to the lack of standardization of software components and the lack of structured approaches to building complex control systems for service robots. Therefore, the development of application-specific solutions is usually profitable only from quantities of 20 to 30 robot systems, with which the service robotics, especially in Germany, does not exhaust its potential. However, it is crucial for Germany's competitiveness to leverage this potential in order to survive in particular against the worldwide boom in service robotics.
The SeRoNet project pursues the vision of replacing the current market for professional service robot solutions, which is characterized by linear dependencies, rigid processes and inadequate market transparency, with a dynamic, open value-added network, ie an ecosystem-driven approach, in which a wide variety of market participants are transparent interact with each other. To establish this completely new form of cooperative development of service robotics solutions will be a major challenge. So far, this development process is in the hands of very few actors who are now to open up to a joint commitment - this, of course, in their own interest, because the increasing complexity of the technologies will be little more controllable in the future as an "isolated solution".
SeRoNet will therefore fundamentally change the development process for service robotics applications. In the future, potential users of service robotics solutions will be able to specify their specific solution requirements via the SeRoNet platform, and quickly gain an initial overview of possible implementations. Through the platform, solution users and solution providers can come together to work together to work out the specifics of an application. At the same time, the platform supports the solution provider in customizing their existing solutions to meet new requirements as well as completely redeveloping a solution. The platform gives service robotics solution providers access to a large pool of components of varying granularity. from entire subsystems such as robot arms or various mobile bases to specialized hardware and software components such as planning algorithms or powerful object recognition systems. Through a systematic, meaningful distinction of the various components in terms of their functional and non-functional properties and interfaces, a solution provider can quickly and tool-supported identify which components are suitable for a desired task and will work together smoothly. Complementing the IT platform, the model-driven SeRoNet development tool helps both component manufacturers and solution providers create and semantically label their products.
By making technologies more efficient and pooling resources, the economics of specialized solutions also improve, and a vibrant market of hardware and software components, service robot solutions, and a variety of supporting services can emerge.