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This paper deals with a unified system of fully distributed meshed sensor network and mobile robot cooperation that serves as a sink node. The meshed sensor network in this paper is composed of static wireless nodes, and is capable of fully distributed peer-to-peer (P2P) ad hoc communication with ZigBee-based protocol. A novel communication timing control employing coupled-oscillator dynamics, named phase-diffusion time-division method (PDTD), has been proposed so far, aiming at realization of an ad hoc collision-free wireless communication network. In this paper, we extend the basic PDTD so that it can exhibit flexible topological reconfiguration according to the moving sink node (robot). Unlike conventional sensor network, no static sink node is supposed inside the network; however, a mobile robot will function as a sink node and access the mesh network from an arbitrary position. A large-scale experiment was conducted, and its results show that satisfactory collaboration between the mesh sensor network and the mobile robot is achieved, and the proposed system outperformed the carrier-sense-multiple-access-based sensor system.
Date of Publication: April 2009