Harry H. Cheng
A plug-and-play open architecture language environment for integration of mechatronic systems for agile manufacturing will be presented in this paper. This new language environment is designed to be computer platform independent, mechatronic device independent, and mechatronic system independent. The language environment is a salient extension and enhancement of Unix/Windows/C computing environment, popularly used by engineers and scientists all over the world. The language environment for real-time operation of mechatronic systems is a superset of interpretive C programming language implemented as a shell. We have designed and implemented this interpretive language environment with security provisions for cross-platform network computing. The mechatronic systems under this new integration paradigm, therefore, can be remotely operated thousands of miles away from the physical site across the network. An experimental rapid prototype system has been developed to verify our principles and algorithms on open architecture integration of mechatronic system. Hardware from different vendors can be easily plugged into the prototype system and the user can readily play it without changing application programs written in the superset of C. The new integration language environment is available for downloading on the WWW at the URL address http://iel.ucdavis.edu/CH/.