Real-time software for versatility, scalability and reconfigusability in complex embedded feedback control systems
Project no: A4-9805
Jan Wikander , Henrik I Christensen
Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Machine Design, Division of Mechatronics (DAMEK) and Royal Institute of Technology, Numerical Analysis and Computing Science, Centre for Autonomous Systems, CVAP
Application as pdf, ps, support letter from Arcticus Systems AB
Support: 1 PhD student for 2 years decided 98-08-20.
Start 99-07-01 with De Jiu Chen as PhD student.

Industry contacts

Kurt-Lennart Lundbäck
Arcticus Systems AB
Project: Real-time software for versatility, scalability and reconfigusability in complex embedded feedback control systems.


The proposed project is a collaboration between Centre for Autonomous Systems (CAS), ARTES and Arcticus Systems AB. The goal of the project is to provide a software architecture suitable for scalable, maintainable and reconfig-urable mechatronic systems controlled by an embedded distributed computer system. The project is focused on multi-degree-of-freedom mechanical systems of a complex configuration, found in e.g. legged locomotion systems. The specific characteristics of the software architecture are its ability to support; hierarchies of control levels; extensive mode shifting; predictable real-time execution, synchronization and communication; reconfiguration including scaling of the mechanical system and finally partitioning and allocation of software functions for close to optimal resource utilisation. The project involves, on an equal share basis between ARTES and CAS, two PhD students over 2+2 years.

Results and contributions


Industrial collaboration

All projects within the research group that relate to embedded real-time systems have extensive contacts with Swedish industry (Scania, Volvo, SAAB Combitech, Siemens Elema, SAAB Automobile, ABB Robotics, Arcticus Systems). The project is recently started and a particular industrial reference group is planned to be established.

International collaboration

Prior to the current project the PhD-student was actively involved in the Esprit project OSACA which has many similarities with the current ARTES project. These international contacts are maintained.

Currently intensive work is done in the creation of new EU framework project related directly to the MARCH project. This activity concerns architectural issues in the design embedded control systems for the next generation of vehicular control systems.

A seminar on Architectures for embedded systems with a mix of industrial, international and academic speakers was held at KTH 990922. The seminar attracted some 65 participants of which a majority from swedish industry.

International centers of major interest to MARCH are Computer Science/Robotics at CMU (USA), Computer Science at Technical University of Vienna and on the industrial side e.g. Nokia Research.

Collaboration with other SSF programs

The MARCH project is a direct cooperation with CAS - Centre for Autonomous Systems at KTH. One student is financed through ARTES and one through CAS. Thus, the project is a joint project in which courses, seminar series supervision etc are shared. The whole Mechatronics Lab at KTH where the MARCH project is carried out has currently a very strong involvement in both ARTES and CAS with several (from the year 2000 in the case of ARTES) students in each program.


  1. De-jiu Chen, System Architecture for Mechatronics Systems - A survey of the concepts, theories and methods with the focus on software, Technical Report, TRITA-MMK 1999:30, ISSN 1400-1179, ISRN KTH/MMK/R-99/30-SE., 1999
  2. De-jiu Chen. Research Issues on System Architecture for Mechatronics Systems. ARTES Graduate Student Conference 2000.
  3. De-Jiu Chen, Martin Sanfridsson, Introduction to Distributed Real-Time Control, Technical Report, TRITA-MMK 1998:22, ISSN 1400-1179, ISRN KTH/MMK/R-98/22-SE., 2000.
  4. De-Jiu Chen, Martin Törngren, Towards A Framework for Architecting Mechatronics Software Systems, Proceedings Seventh IEEE International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems, (ICECCS 2001), Skövde, Sweden, 2001, ISBN 0-7695-1159-7.
  5. De-Jiu Chen, Martin Törngren, System Architecture in a Mechatronics Perspective, Compendium of Papers, SNART 99 Real-time System Conference, Linköping, 1999
  6. Martin Törngren and Ola Redell, A Modelling Framework to support the design and analysis of distributed real-time control systems. J. of Microprocessors and Microsystems 24 (2000) 81-93.
  7. De-jiu Chen, Architecture for Systematic Development of Mechatronics Software Systems, Licentiate thesis: Mechatronics Lab, Department of Machine Design, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, STOCKHOLM, Sweden, TRITA - MMK 2001:06, ISSN 1400 -1179, ISRN KTH/MMK -- 01/06 -- SE, 2001
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