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To date, the complex and diverse demands on robotic software can only be handled by large teams which are often distributed geographically, with each team working on a specific aspect of the robot's functionality. The distributed nature of development and differences in the configuration of standard robot platforms impose particular challenges on the process of system integration. To address these challenges, this paper describes the application of best practices in software engineering to the developer community of the Care-O-bot® robot family: strictly defined developer roles, management of platform dependencies by Separation of Concerns, and automated testing. The concrete implementation of these concepts in the development process is demonstrated. By analyzing development activities over the last months we can validate the impact of the concepts in the distributed community.
Date of Conference: 16-18 Dec. 2012