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In the last decades many robotic demonstrators were built, the vast majority of which are constrained to a limited set of operations, often focusing on the development of single robotic components like navigation, manipulation, human-machine interaction, etc. These specialized robots thus are not intended and commonly also not flexible enough to solve many complex tasks, in particular concerning dynamic and unstructured environments, requiring the combination of different components. More recently there have been efforts to create robots that are capable of performing various tasks in households or public domain and are dependable enough for every-day use (e.g. DESIRE). This requires the integration of many expert technologies from the different robotic domains and different developers that are located at different places. A capable integration management is needed, including not only software engineering tools but support for distributed development and remote testing on robot hardware in particular. This paper proposes software engineering methods and tools that support integration and a new Web portal for the distributed development and remote testing of service robots. The Web portal permits centrally managed configuration, control and monitoring of software component processes through a user interface, that is available at any time from any place, through arbitrary operating systems. It is shown in the results, that the effort for organisation and coordination of hardware tests could be substantially reduced in the DESIRE project by the usage of the Web portal.
Date of Conference: 22-26 June 2009