Verification of System-wide Safety Properties of ROS Applications

Published in 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2020

Recommended citation: R. Carvalho, A. Cunha, N. Macedo, A. Santos. (2020). "Verification of System-wide Safety Properties of ROS Applications." IROS 2020. 7249-7254.

Abstract: Robots are currently deployed in safety-critical domains but proper techniques to assess the functional safety of their software are yet to be adopted. This is particularly critical in ROS, where highly configurable robots are built by composing third-party modules. To promote adoption, we advocate the use of lightweight formal methods, automatic techniques with minimal user input and intuitive feedback.This paper proposes a technique to automatically verify system-wide safety properties of ROS-based applications at static time. It is based in the formalization of ROS architectural models and node behaviour in Electrum, over which system-wide specifications are subsequently model checked. To automate the analysis, it is deployed as a plug-in for HAROS, a framework for the assessment of ROS software quality aimed at the ROS community. The technique is evaluated in a real robot, AgRob V16, with positive results.

Download paper here