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Adaptive Computing In Robotics

Leveraging ROS 2 to enable software-defined hardware For FPGAs

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Traditional software development in robotics is about programming functionality in the CPU of a given robot with a pre-defined architecture and constraints. With adaptive computing, instead, building a robotic behavior is about programming an architecture. By leveraging adaptive computing, roboticists can adapt one or more of the properties of its computing systems (e.g., its determinism, power consumption, security posture, or throughput) at run time. Roboticists are not, however, hardware engineers, and embedded expertise is scarce among them. This white paper adopts a ROS 2 roboticist-centric view for adaptive computing and proposes an architecture to include FPGAs as a firstclass participant of the ROS 2 ecosystem. The architecture proposed is platform- and technology-agnostic, and is easily portable. The core components of the architecture are disclosed under an Apache 2.0 license, paving the way for roboticists to leverage adaptive computing and create software-defined hardware.

Xilinx’s adaptive SOMs are the perfect compute platform for robotics, allowing the creation of software-defined hardware for robots, delivering solutions with increased performance per watt while also being cost-effective, energy efficient, secure, safe, and adaptable.

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