Graphical User Interface of ARDev

Configuration of ARDev was unable to perform at runtime. It was necessary to terminate the program and reinitialize it in order to change any settings. This tool should ideally be run constantly helping to avoid the potential loss of time and important data.

In order to provide configuration and runtime control of ARDev a graphical user interface library was added. The Library AntTweakBar was chosen as a lightweight option. The main GUI window for ARDev is small, and provides buttons to open further windows and also provides control over player connections, Environment and Data, display information regarding rendered objects, environments and environments switching, and miscellaneous robot data respectively.

The Display List Window can be used to show and hide objects of interest and to change the color or transparency of rendered objects which can be very useful at runtime when rendered objects overlap and obscure each other. Some objects extended settings are provided; in the case of the grid, the minor and major grid lines can be changed quickly for less or more precision.

With the GUI addition it is now easy to change runtime settings, manipulate the environment and view the state of the system. Further configurations easily be added for any type of object using the extensible architecture. Developing robots that are mobile and interact with the real world can be a significant challenge. The available tools for a developer to understand complex robot data in a real time and useful way are limited, resulting in an extended time to find the correct solutions. The real time world is dynamic and complex and can not be easily understood from a robot’s perspective without placing the robot’s data in context with the developers world view. Visualization of actuators and sensor readings can be interpreted easily when overlaid onto an image of the real world. Any inconsistencies between real time robot data and what the developer actually can see in the real world become obvious when presented in a visual manner.

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