1. Motivations

The primary purpose of this research has been to ease the implementation process for future students making contributions to the SHELLEY Project.* It is currently difficult for students to make contributions because each external robotic device has its own unique communication protocol. Additionally, even in the case where there exists a program that communicates with an external device (for example, a robotic arm), there is no system in place to facilitate other programs reusing that same portion of program code. Finally, a third obstacle hindering progress is intimidation felt by potential contributors. Students often examine the prospects of implementing a task for SHELLEY such as playing tic-tac-toe or chess, but may feel that the project is too daunting because ``that's so complicated'' or ``I don't know anything about robotics.'' By providing a simple interface to an all-encompassing structure for incorporating the different components of SHELLEY, these difficulties can be alleviated.

* The SHELLEY Project takes its name from Frankenstein Author Mary Shelley.

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