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Preliminary concepts

Summary

rerobots uses several terms that might seem familiar but that are not currently in common use. This section presents them. For a broader view about what is rerobots, read the introduction.

If you think that something is missing, or if you find errors, please contact us or open a ticket.

Workspaces

A workspace is an abstraction of a collection of methods and materials for robotics experiments. Note that "experiments" is not only for basic or applied research, but it is also for routine engineering activities like continuous integration testing.

Conceptually, there are three levels of refinement. A workspace type is the workspace in terms of essential features, such as the models of hardware and the number of robots. A deployment of a workspace type is a physical realization. When there are potentially significant details about a deployment that are specified as part of the workspace type, then they are available as supplemental notes.

An instance of a workspace corresponds to usage of a deployment by a user. Ideally, each instance of a deployment is identical modulo changes of user-defined parameters where available, but practically there may be some differences, which motivates introducing a new term.

Kinds of connection

To connect to an instance, there are several options available now, and more are under development. The best choice depends on a variety of factors, including some that rerobots cannot control; e.g., your geographic location relative to workspace deployments, which whether you will operate the robots interactively (in real-time) or upload tests and run them in batch, the kind of communications middleware you use on the robots.

Available kinds of connection:

  1. sshtun: ssh to a public IP address and port number.
  2. openvpn: create OpenVPN server and install client certificates on instance hosts.

API tokens

This section presents terms that are not required if you only use the Web UI.

The core interface of rerobots is its API. An API token is a string that provides authentication and authorization for API requests. rerobots API tokens follow the JSON Web Token standard, RFC 7519, which is introduced at https://jwt.io/.