‘Robots in the ubiquitous environments’ are called ubiquitous robots. Ubiquitous robots are basically networked robots. They natively possess communication channels through which they can interact with any kinds of networked agents e.g. information appliances, mobile phones, web services, internet agents, networked sensors and actuators etc. The channels pave the broad way for the robots to the world of globalized and ubiquitous interactions with the real world.
For ubiquitous robots to intelligently interact with the world, they need to understand the situations aroud and react appropriately. Traditional robots did similar things only through their own sensors like camera, ultrasonic sensors, laser scanners, etc. Ubiquitous robots can utilize wider spectrum of data sources e.g. sensors remotely installed in the environment, web services on the internet, and any kinds of other devices wired to the network. As such, ubiquitous robots need context-awareness.
Recently, semantic web technologies are widely adopted for context-awareness. Why? That’s because the semantic web provides tools for building common knowledge infrastructure. The ‘common’ is used to mean that ‘it can be interchanged for global communication’. The semantic web provides ‘the semantic glue’. RDF and OWL are used to define vocabularies for representing various kinds of contexts. The vocabularies are used to build context models and instances. Context-awarenss applications or services convert raw context data into the symbolic representation using the vocabularies and try to exploit application-level contexts that’re meaningul to trigger context-aware functionalities. OWL inferencing and rule reasoning are two main enabling technologies for the process.
Since 2004, we developed context-aware service platform for ubiquitous robots based on the semantic web and web services. Bossam has been one of the main tools for the development; it has been used for context interpretation, context model inferencing, robot service coordination, mixing results from various semantic web services, etc.
Bossam is under ongoing improvement.