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An Efficient Group Communication Protocol for Mobile Robots

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4 Author(s)
Das, S.M. ; School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035 smdas@purdue.edu ; Hu, Y.C. ; Lee, C.S.G. ; Yung-Hsiang Lu

Mobile robot teams have many useful applications such as search and rescue, exploration and hazard detection and analysis. Communication between the robots of a team as well as between the robots and a human operator or controller are useful for many applications. Many applications of mobile robots involve scenarios in which no communication infrastructure such as base stations exist (e.g. demining in battlefields) or the existing infrastructure is damaged (e.g. search and rescue after an earthquake). In such scenarios, it is necessary for mobile robots to form an ad hoc network to enable communication by forwarding each other’s packets. In many applications, group communication can be used for flexible control, organization, and management of the mobile robots. Multicast provides a bandwidth efficient communication method between a source and a group of robots. In this paper, we propose an efficient multicast protocol MRMM (Mobile Robot Mesh Multicast) for deployment in mobile robot networks. MRMM exploits the fact that mobile robots know what velocity they are instructed to move at and for what distance in building a long lifetime sparse mesh for group communication that is more efficient. Our results show that MRMM provides an efficient group communication mechanism that can potentially be used in many mobile robot application scenarios.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2005. ICRA 2005. Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

18-22 April 2005