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This paper addresses the problem of collecting sensoring information from wireless sensor networks using mobile robots. We consider that sensors may interact with each other only to maintain the network topology. Because transmitting sensoring data over the network to a remote base is a very power consuming operation, we deploy mobile robots through the sensor field in order to collect such information. We present a multi-target, dynamical, potential field strategy where a robot is attracted to the sensors that have less remaining data storage capacity. Moreover, the robot is also attracted to other sensors in its path without compromising its principal mission. Our controllers guarantee the robot will never get stuck in undesirable local minima. Simulated examples with a single robot collecting data in a sensor field illustrate the elegancy of the methodology.
Date of Conference: 28 Sept.-2 Oct. 2004