Here the real-time demands were soft (best effort) - and the achieved SORMA interprocess communication times are more than sufficient to meet the desired inter-activeness, including speech generation (between 1.5 and 4.0 s mean time for request plus reply communication with a daemon; across our computer park).
The real-time capabilities were demonstrated in a 3D robot tracking application, combining vision and force senses and a rapid learning PSOM network . This hard real-time task required strict deadlines with zero time fault tolerance. Thanks to the RCCL/RCI package we conveniently achieve synchronous robot control employing a standard SUN SparcStation [6, 10]. One standard SORMA client-server CO asynchronously connected the vision analysis and the robot host. All other communication used the SORMA time-optimal intraprocess invocation (about s elapsed call overhead time) and further interprocess communications services via shared memory (about s).
In contrast to other robot control software frameworks like Chimera  or Psyche , SORMA does not attempt to be a real-time operating system (OS) itself (e.g. no scheduler). Chimera and Smart  focus on multi-processor VME-bus systems which are hosted by a Unix workstation. SORMA offers to interoperate also software components served by high-performance workstations across the network - using the standard interface.
Currently we care about full portability and interoperability across the following operating systems: Aix, Iris4d, Irix5, Irix6, NextStep, OSF1, Linux, Solaris, and SunOS (which gives also the reason to still hesitate about relying on P-threads implementations, which are yet not available on all platforms above).
The central interest is to provide a framework for effective building of components and rapid assembly to distributed solutions. It is interesting to note, that despite the fact that SORMA was independently developed, it shares many ideas formulated in large industrial initiatives to build intelligent distributed object infrastructures, in particular CORBA by OMG . Actually, the ``Common Object Request Broker Architecture'' recently inspired the revised terminology within SORMA. Instead of CORBA's goal of serving many vendors' interests with multiple protocols, we are working with complex robotics hardware, requiring specially adapted solutions. Here SORMA emphasizes in particular interactive, built-in exploration and usage support, robustness, and real-time efficiency.
Furthermore, SORMA supports early resource sharing and re-use of components: providing better services will invite to re-usage, which gives incentive for better services - thus a positive feedback loop can emerge. We believe, this helps to improve the service's economy.