SAFETY CRITICAL SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS
Work by Partha Roop
BETWEEN 2005 AND 2009, 18% OF MEDICAL DEVICE RECALLS WERE DUE TO SOFTWARE ISSUES
So what is happening?
Let’s look at infusion pumps as an example. Due to software errors patients were injured or killed by drug overdoses. In one case the software behind he pumps did not prevent key bounce and misinterpreted key presses of 20 mL as 200 mL. In another, a buffer overflow (programming error) shut down pump which prevented drug delivery and caused patient death.
How can we stop this?
Partha Roop is working on tools for designing mission and safety critical software applications in order to increase software reliability. This is vital if robots are to be trusted by users and acceptable for operators (and insurers).
Currently there is one major tool for designing mission and safety critical software applications available, but it is proprietary (SCADE from Eastel). PRET-C is developed as an open source alternative and can be used for embedded and/or real-time systems.
- Service/industrial/medical robotics
- Automated/manufacturing systems
- Intelligent transport systems