Connectivity-Through-Time Protocols for Dynamic Wireless Networks to Support Mobile Robot Teams
Mobile robot teams are increasingly deployed in various applications involving remote operations in unstructured environments that do not support wireless network infrastructures. The authors propose a class of protocols based on the connectivity-through-time concepts that exploit the robot movements to extend the traditional notions of network connectivity. These protocols enable the formation of ad hoc networks of mobile robots without the infrastructure of access points by utilizing the robots as routers. These protocols are implemented as a collection of daemons that track connectivity changes, compute single and multiple hop connectivity, route the packets via robots with suitable buffering, and adapt the transport parameters to the connection characteristics. The implementation employs UDP with window-based flow control that is tuned to the nature of connections.