The Player Robot Device Interface
2.1.0Copyright Brian Gerkey and contributors 1999-2007, and beyond.
Part of the Player/Stage/Gazebo Project [http://playerstage.sourceforge.net]
Player serves the same purpose for robotic devices, making it a kind of robot OS. Player defines a set of standard interfaces (Interface specifications), each of which is a specification of the ways that you can interact with some class of devices. For example the position2d interface covers ground-based mobile robots, allowing them to accept commands to make them move (either velocity or position targets) and to report their state (current velocity and position). Many drivers support the position2d interface, including p2os, obot, and rflex, each of which controls a different kind of robot. The job of the driver is to make the robot support the standard interface. This way, Player control code that works with one robot will work (within reason) on another robot.Quick start for an example of this usage). In this setup, the player server is executed with a configuration file (Writing configuration files) that defines which drivers to instantiate and how to bind them to hardware. The drivers run inside the player server (often in multiple threads), and the user's control program runs as a client to that server. Client Libraries are available in various languages to facilitate the development of such control programs. Other transports can be used instead; an experimental JINI-based transport is also available. amcl driver is an implementation of adaptive Monte Carlo localization, a well-known algorithm for probabalistic localization of a mobile robot. This driver supports both the position2d interface (so it can be used directly in place of odometry) and the more sophisticated localize interface (which allows for multiple pose hypotheses to be considered). In addition to providing this incredibly useful implementation of a particular localization algorithm, by defining such standard interfaces we build up an environment in which alternative algorithms and implementations can be developed and tested. Other abstract drivers include vfh, wavefront, and laserbarcode. Ideally, Player will become a common development platform and community code respository for such algorithms.
With the exception of the libplayerdrivers library, all Player source is simultaneously distributed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1 ("LGPL"). A copy of this license is included with the sourcecode in the files COPYING.lib. Users may use dual-licensed portions of Player under the GPL or the LGPL, at their choosing.
Player documentation is distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License ("FDL").