It’s a pleasure for me to announce the release of the
0.1.0 version of the Hardware Robot Information Model (HRIM) available at https://github.com/erlerobot/hrim.
HRIM is a common interface that facilitates interoperability among different vendors of robot hardware components with the purpose of building robot modules and thereby, modular robots. HRIM focuses on the standardization of the logical interfaces between robot modules, designing a set of rules that each device has to meet in order to achieve interoperability. It tackles the problem of incompatibility between robot components that hinder the reconfigurability and flexibility demanded by the robotics industry. In a nutshell, HRIM presents a model to create plug-and-play robot hardware components. HRIM builds upon the ROS component model and although we envision its expansion to support other framework alternatives, currently a ROS 2.0 implementation is available at https://github.com/erlerobot/hrim.
In short, the robot modules have been classified in 6 (actually, there’s a seventh, composites that is a work in progress) types of modules which correspond to the task they can perform: sensing, actuation, communication, cognition, user interfaces or power. Each type is composed by sub-types or devices, related to the functionality of the component. For example, a camera is a sub-type of the sensor type. The following image pictures the HRIM component model for each device (or sub-type):
HRIM has been presented to national experts at the International Standardization Organization (ISO) within the scope of the standardization in the field of robotics, excluding toys and military applications (ISO/TC 299). Particularly, it has been introduced within the ongoing standard ISO/CD 22166–1 which treats modularity for service robots.
HRIM also conforms with the following pre-existing international standards:
In addition, Fraunhofer IPA — the largest research organization for applied research in Europe — is currently looking at HRIM to adopt it and extend it for several projects. Mirko Bordignon, group manager at Fraunhofer IPA said:
After years of experience designing, developing, and deploying software on robotic systems, we fully subscribe to the objectives stated in the HRIM manifesto: working towards true “plug and play” hardware modules through a standardized information model, which merges the inputs and feedback gathered from open-source communities with the stability and platform-independence required by standardization bodies. We look forward to contribute our experience to further advancing HRIM towards this goal!
Similarly, HRIM picked the interest of the ROS-Industrial (ROS-I) Europe consortium during the last ROS-I conference where HRIM was introduced.
Feedback, criticism and contributions are more than welcome. A complete writeup and description of the release is available at https://hackernoon.com/introducing-the-hardware-robot-information-model-hrim-8f0da3f22f67.