Real-Time Control System

Real-Time Control System

The Real-time Control System (RCS) is a software system developed by NIST that implements a generic Hierarchical control system.


RCS has been used in automated manufacturing, robotics, and automated vehicle research at NIST. The software consists of a C++ library and GUI and configuration tools written a variety of software languages.

RCS applications

* Robocrane - RCS controlled a crane having six degrees of freedom. It incorporated tactile, proximity and vision sensors.
* Next Generation Inspection System - RCS controlled a Coordinate Measuring Machine, with sensors including analog touch probes, video camera, and laser rangefinder.
*Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles - RCS controlled a group of autonomous vehicles, at a high level coordinating their movements, and a low level controlling their steering, throttle and brakes. Sensors included an Inertial navigation system and differential GPS.
* Enhanced Machine Controller, or EMC - an NIST research project in CNC software that uses RCS.

See also

Hierarchical control system

External links

* [ RCS Overview]
* [ NIST Real-Time Control Systems (RCS) Library: Tools for Control System Development]
* [ RCS software library]


* Albus, J. S. [ 4-D/RCS reference model architecture for unmanned ground vehicles.] In G Gerhart, R Gunderson, and C Shoemaker, editors, Proceedings of the SPIE AeroSense Session on Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology, volume 3693, pages 11--20, Orlando,
* Albus, J. S. [ The NIST Real-Time Control System, An Applications Survey]
* Gazi, V., Moore, M. L., Passino, K. M., Shackleford, W. P., Proctor, F. M., Albus, J. S., The RCS Handbook, Tools for Real-Time Control Systems Software Development, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2001.

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