First International Workshop on Engineering Resilient Robot Software Systems (ERRoSS 2020)

Robots become more and more intelligent due to the increased penetration of general purpose computing technologies. Software frameworks like ROS gain in popularity each year. Despite the big success of software-driven robotics however, building fault-tolerant and resilient software for robotics remains a challenge. Compared to methods that are common in modern software engineering, software engineering in robotics lags behind several years due to the complexity and immaturity of the field leading to error prone robotic systems and tedious development processes.

This workshop benefits the field of robotic software engineering by promoting novel ideas, technologies, tools, and best practices for building high-quality, robust and resilient robotic software. Feature-driven development of robotic software is still hardly possible in the environments we currently work in since the sheer complexity of the technology itself is challenging enough. With this workshop we want to lay the foundations for a community bringing together roboticists and software people who push for developer productivity, modern methods and tools because in the end, robots can only be good if their developers find perfect circumstances for engineering them.

ERRoSS 2020 will be co-located with the fourth International Conference on Robotic Computing (IRC 2020).

Contributions of the 2020 ERRoSS Workshop

A word from the workshop chairs

Dear reader, we founded the ERRoSS Workshop series in late 2019 because we have seen that the engineering of resilient robot solution remains a challenge. We need to consider not only safety and robustness but also security and the quality of our robots’ software in component and application development. The International Conference for Robotic Computing hosts the first edition of ERRoSS. Out of four submissions, three are presented in the context of ERRoSS 2020. Despite being a rather small workshop, we have received very positive feedback and will keep on growing our community.

Due to the current health crisis all over the world, we need to host this event virtually. To make our contents available to all timezones, we chose to make ERRoSS an asynchronous event. Thus, we have asked our contributors for video recordings of their presentations. You can find each contribution below. To give feedback or ask questions to the authors, please use the email address provided below. We will relay the questions to the authors and post the questions and answers on the website.

We do hope to spark the ERRoSS community with this year’s edition despite the circumstances and continue the series in 20201.

Bernhard Dieber and Martin Pinzger

Industrial robot ransomware: Akerbeltz

Authors: Víctor Mayoral Vilches, Unai Ayucar Carbajo and Endika Gil-Uriarte, ALIAS Robotics S.L., Spain

Cybersecurity lessons have not been learnt from the dawn of other technological industries. In robotics, the existing insecurity landscape needs to be addressed immediately. Several manufacturers profiting from the lack of general awareness are systematically ignoring their responsibilities by claiming their insecure (open) systems facilitate system integration, disregarding the safety, privacy and ethical consequences that their (lack of) actions have. In an attempt to raise awareness and illustrate the “insecurity by design in robotics” we have created Akerbeltz, the first known instance of industrial robot ransomware. Our malware is demonstrated using a leading brand for industrial collaborative robots, Universal Robots. We describe the rationale behind our target and discuss the general flow of the attack including the initial cyber-intrusion, lateral movement and later control phase. We urge security researchers to adopt some sort of disclosure policy that forces manufacturers to react promptly. We advocate against security by obscurity and encourage the release of similar actions once vulnerability reports fall into a dead-end. Actions are now to be taken to abide a future free of zero-days for robotics.

Feedback and questions to

Towards application level testing of ROS networks

Author: Guido Breitenhuber, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Austria

Robotics is a highly interdisciplinary field where applications of complex architectures are built to solve challenging problems. Integration of multiple components in this environment continues to be a time-consuming, tedious and error-prone activity. Typical approaches in parallel component development or composition from re-usable components focus on structural and static aspects like ROS message and topic definitions. However, the behavioural part of robot software components is hardly ever specified in sufficient detail. In this work, we tackle this issue by proposing an application-level testing framework for robot software applications that uses a fluent API to describe the expected behaviour of an application or its components. This is a first step towards test-first based development of robot software in order to increase robot software quality.

Feedback and questions to

Testudine, a Graphical User Interface for Physical Integration Testing

Authors: Floris Erich and Noriaki Ando, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan

In this paper we describe Testudine, which is a Graphical User Interface for the ROSPIT2 Physical Integration Testing Framework for ROS 2. Testudine will allow novice users to create physical integration tests, thus widening the audience for PIT. Testudine has a web based client written using React and a back-end written in Python. The back-end is used for storage, retrieval and execution of tests. The back-end interfaces with ROS 2 through the rclpy client library.

Feedback and questions to


Organizing committee

Bernhard Dieber, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Austria.

Martin Pinzger, Klagenfurt University, Austria.

Program committee

  • Stefan Rass, Klagenfurt University
  • Endika Gil Uriarte, ALIAS Robotics
  • Victor Mayoral Vilches, ALIAS Robotics
  • Gerald Steinbauer, TU Graz
  • Vicente Matellán, University of León
  • Thilo Zimmermann, Fraunhofer IPA
  • Christoph Hellmann, Fraunhofer IPA
  • Andrzej Wasowski, IT University of Copenhagen
  • Alcino Cunha, University of Minho
  • John-Paul Ohre, North Carolina State University
  • Nadia Hammoudeh Garcia, Fraunhofer IPA