Robot Behaviour based Languages

Behaviour-based languages provide an alternative approach to the procedural languages. They typically specify how the robot should react to the different conditions, rather than providing a procedural description. A behavioural system is more likely to be used by a robot developer than the end user. The developer would use it to define functionality that the end user would use to perform tasks.

Functional Reactive Programming (FRP) is a good example of a behavioural programming paradigm. In FRP, both continuous and discrete events can be used to trigger actions. Recently, there have been two language extensions of note based on a functional language. These systems allow the programmer to specify how the robot reactions using very little code compared with procedural languages. The descriptions are based on behaviours and events.

FRP is not limited to languages such as Haskell. Dai et al (2002) have implemented an FRP system in C++. It provides similar functionality to Frob, but also allows existing C++ code. One obvious trend is the change away from simple, command based languages, and towards higher-level languages that provide more support to the user, which is illustrated by the increasing popularity of behavioural languages. With more intelligent programming systems, the programmer is required to do less work to achieve the same results, increasing productivity.

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