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The Distributed Control Lab (DCL) provides an open infrastructure for conducting robotics and control experiments over the Internet. It is based on Web services technologies and offers a wide range of frontend applications. Within the DCL environment work is focused on safety strategies and mechanisms in order to prevent malicious code from damaging experimental equipment. These include source code analyses, .NET code access security, runtime observation and the dynamic replacement of faculty control algorithms. The .NET framework provides a solid base for a safe execution of user code in the lab. In the Lego .NET experiment work is focused on making the Microsoft .NET run-time available for the DCL Lego Mindstorm robot experiment. A frontend for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has been implemented that translates ECMA intermediate language into native code. This strategy allows the extension of the concept of code access security to embedded devices. Within the paper an overview of the DCL's architecture is presented and the frontends implemented, including a Visual Studio .NET plug-in, are introduced. The installed experiments are introduced and case studies of implemented techniques to ensure their and the DCL's safety are described.
Date of Publication: 7 Oct. 2005