The Seventh International Workshop on Domain-Specific Languages and Models for Robotic Systems (DSLRob-17) will take place April 12-17, 2017 in Taichung (Taiwan), as part of the first IEEE Robotic Computing conference.

After the overwhelming push towards the design of robotics software platforms (e.g. ROS, Orocos, SmartSoft, OpenRTM, etc.) we now need to make robotics programming and configuration as accessible as possible to application domain experts. Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) and Model-driven Engineering (MDE) are emerging areas of interest in the robotics research community, which have been instrumental for resolving complex issues in a wide range of domains (e.g. distributed and modular robotics, control, and vision) and have the potential for significantly facilitating how robots are programmed.

A domain-specific language (DSL) is a programming language dedicated to a particular problem domain that offers specific notations and abstractions, which, at the same time, decrease the coding complexity and increase programmer productivity within that domain. Models offer a high-level way for domain users to specify the functionality of their system at the right level of abstraction. DSLs and models have historically been used for programming complex systems. They have however recently garnered interest as a separate field of study; this workshop investigates DSLs and models for robotics.

Robotic systems blend hardware and software in a holistic way that intrinsically raises many crosscutting concerns (concurrency, uncertainty, time constraints, etc.), for which reason, traditional general-purpose languages often lead to a poor fit between the language features and the implementation requirements. DSLs and models offer a powerful, systematic way to overcome this problem providing two main strengths:

  • Domain experts, who are not familiar with general purpose programming languages, can adopt DSLs to quickly and precisely implement novel software solutions to complex problems within the robotics domain.
  • Software engineers can design complex architectures and provide domain experts with models and tools that hide the architecture complexity and facilitate their configuration.

DSLs and models are key elements in many robotic systems presented at leading conferences such as IROS, ICRA and SIMPAR, but the domain-centric structure of the typical robotics conference and the limited amount of time assigned to paper presentations do not provide enough room for discussion. This workshop aims to establish a regular event, where robotic researchers meet to present and discuss how DSLs and models can improve the design, development and configuration of robotics software.


List of Topics

The workshop will focus on the use of Domain-Specific Languages and Models for Robotic Systems. The challenge of building complex systems that compose several lower-level models or domain-specific languages is considered of special interest this year. Moreover, topics that are of interest for the workshop include:

  • DSLs targeting specific application domains, such as service robots, automation, biomedical, autonomous vehicles (land, sea, air), and modular robots.
  • DSLs addressing specific technical challenges, such as system integration, AI, sensor/actuator networks, distributed and cloud robotics, perception, sensor information, human robot interaction, uncertainty, modeling of physical systems, and real-time constraints.
  • DSLs providing alternative programming models, such as reactive behaviors, composition of behaviors, motion description languages (MDL), and cooperative robotics.
  • Models to represent robotics software architectures and their variability.
  • Runtime models for reasoning and dynamic adaptation.
  • Surveys of the use of DSLs in specific subdomains of robotics.
  • Tool support and frameworks for describing and manipulating DSLs and models for robotic systems.
  • Code generation and code transformation for robotics systems.
  • Frameworks to combine DSLs and models in a uniform manner.
  • Case studies on the use of DSLs in advanced robotics systems.
  • Benchmarks to compare the use of DSLs versus the use of general-purpose programming languages.
  • Programming languages in the context of robotic systems, such as dynamic languages, languages to teach robotics, and visual languages.


Intended Audience

The intended audience is those robotics researchers throughout the entire robotics community who use DSLs and models as a key component of their robotics software infrastructure. In addition, robotics researchers with an interest in modern approaches to solving complex software-related issues will find the workshop inspirational.


Organization Committee

Christian Schlegel, Fakultät Informatik, Hochschule Ulm, Germany
Ulrik P. Schultz, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Serge Stinckwich, UMI UMMISCO (IRD/UPMC), France


Further Information

For information about submission guidelines, important dates etc please see the DSLRob 2017 web page.