I have heard about open source 3D printed robotics projects (https://www.poppy-project.org/en/ is somehow obsolete example). My question is - are there open source holistic/integrated frameworks of automated design, simulation and analysis of such projects? The pipeline of design/simulation/analysis consists of the following steps:
- Open source 3D CAD files for the robot are provided;
- Special open source processor receives CAD files of structures and generates mathematical expressions of kinematics and dynamics of the robot (e.g. Jacobian matrices and so on), as well as input files for the simulators (like Gazebo, MoveIt or OpenRave);
- Standard mathematical software (Mathematica, Matlab or open source GNU Octave) execute standard derivation of the expressions (from point 2) to determine all the necessary results of analysis (like space of reachability, singularities and so on);
- Simulators are used to perform simulations or robot in some standard set of environments, e.g., the industrial cells;
- Results from the 3. and 4. are provided to the GNU Octave expressions to determine the quality of the 3D CAD design and the numerical parameters of the design are tuned to arrive at the optimal values of numerical parameters (e.g. length of links and so on);
- Results from the 3., 4., 5. (i.e. the overall estimate of the quality) are feeded in the Genetic Programming system as the fitness measure and new generation of the 3D CAD design is generated using evolutionary algorithms whose genes encode the 3D CAD design of the robot. Or alternatively the quality measure is used as the reward for the Reinforcement Learning system that learns the optimal structural 3D CAD design of the robot.
- Results from the 6. (i.e. automatically improved 3D CAD design) is feeded into step 1. and the improved robotic structure is analysed again.
There is computational creativity research with automatic exploration of the design space. So, one can consider the design space for the 3D CAD project and automatically explore it for finding the design that operates the most efficiently in the predetermined environments (like industrial cells).
From time to time some generation of the 3D CAD robot can be printed out and put into operation for gathering hard data (that can be feeded into improving the simulation process at step 4.) and for reaping the practical and material reward from the effort.
I am not asking to name the particular open source integrated frameworks (if such exists) (however the references would be great) or the open source components for such framework. My question is about the feasibility and possible obstacles for creating such framework?
E.g. step 2. can be quite esoteric - to generate the Jacobians from the 3D designs, but is it really so hard to do that? There is no need for creativity to do this and it is the standard procedure that every student does in their homework.
And then there is problem about integrated representation of the robot? 3D CAD files usually are used for designing single components, like single link or single join or single structure, cover. But what about whole robot? Can similar 3D CAD files be used for the representation of the whole robot and that representation also include motors, sensors, actuators, wiring, computing units and so on. Only such integrated designs are suitable for the step 2 automatic analysis.
Artificial intelligence is developing and that is why we should try to use both the automation of the mathematical analysis of the robot and also the automatic exploration of the designs space using evolutionary programming and reinforcement learning (which works quite nicely in generation of computer arts).
And all this should be open sourced to improve each component.
What is the state of art of such integrated pipelines?