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  1. 1. Emaad Mohamed H. Zahugi, S.V.A.V. Prasad, T.V. Prasad / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 2, Issue 5, September- October 2012, pp.119-123 ADVANCED COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS FOR SWARM ROBOTICS: A SURVEY Emaad Mohamed H. Zahugi, S.V.A.V. Prasad and T.V. Prasad Lingaya’s University, Faridabad, India Visvodaya Technical Academy, Kavali, IndiaABSTRACT Swarm robotics is the application of robots from cables, but it suffers from severalswarm intelligence that is inspired from natural significant drawbacks, such as limited bandwidth,swarms such as ant colony, bee hives, flock of high power consumption and the lowerbirds etc. Ants communicate by laying down a communication range. Widely used communicationpheromone trail to help other ants trace the methods for making robots interact are infrared,shortest path from nest to the food source. This Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, etc. Wireless sensorindirect communication is called “Stigmergy”. networks used for both indoor and outdoor robotBees communicate by making a waggle dance that applications. In swarm robotics the communicationindicates the distance to food source and how method represent a major issue, however all othermuch rich the food source is. In artificial swarm robot parameters in control, coordination, localizationthe behavior is implemented with wireless and navigation based on the communication methods.communication using autonomous mobile robotsor unmanned air vehicles. The communication  Indoor communication is used when robotsstrategy is a key parameter that needs to be move inside a building and need to be traced,studied and analyzed in detail. This paper such as in factories, industrial warehouses,presents the recent wireless communication hospitals, libraries etc. this type ofprotocols and their advantages and disadvantages communication requires more power to gofor each. This survey gives a summarization of through walls of building, usually high data ratemost communication methods used for swarm and not necessary long range. Examples are Wi-robotics. Fi and Bluetooth.KEYWORDS:-Wireless communication, swarm  Outdoor communication used when robotsrobotics, Ad-hoc networks, sensor networks. move outside the buildings and need to be accessed and control in a distributed I. INTRODUCTION environment such as in exploring an open area, In natural swarming, individuals agriculture, military actions, tracing, etc. Thiscommunicate between each other and their requires the communication standard to be ofenvironment in order to perform a collective task, longer range with low data rate such as ZigBee.communication between individuals happen by Fiberglass cables was used in [2], the authors assumeaffecting the environment like individuals in ant a disaster scenario (like earth quake) where manycolony where ants exchange information by laying rescue teams of different countries may exist at thedown a chemical substance trial called pheromone to same place, and each team has its own robots andstimulate other ants in the colony, and help them find wireless network which may lead to block parts ofthe shortest path between their nest and the food the scarce resources with the wireless networks, butsource, this mechanism called Stigmergy. using cables with mobile robots is not practical since Bees communicate by making a dance called they reduce mobility and may be broken or cut at anywaggle dance. This dance gives two indications, the time.direction of the food source and the distance to the Infrared used as short range to send controlfood source. Individuals in bee hives determine the signal used by individual to recognize each other,direction by knowing how the intended bee shake her Bluetooth is used for about 100 meter range withbody left or right, and they can determine the high data rate, RF used as point to pointdistance by the duration of the waggle dance [1]. communication with low data rate, Wi-Fi also usedSwarm of robots can be used in different applications for hundreds of meters range in the presence of manysuch as exploring, search and rescue, military, etc. access points with high data rate, and ZigBeeThere are various wireless communication protocols protocol was developed for longer range, low dataused in swarm robotics, based on the application and rate, with primary advantage of the this protocol liesenvironment the robots work with, the in its ability to offer low power and long battery life.communication protocol can be chosen either indooror outdoor, short range or long range, high data rateor low data rate. Wireless communication frees the 119 | P a g e
  2. 2. Emaad Mohamed H. Zahugi, S.V.A.V. Prasad, T.V. Prasad / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 2, Issue 5, September- October 2012, pp.119-123II. COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS USED data rate, so it is not practical to use Wi-Fi with WITH ROBOTS: swarm robotics because it will make the battery3.1 Infrared communication discharge quickly as per current technology of Infrared communication goes very small writing this paper. A simulation program was used indistances, and its signals cannot penetrate walls or [8] to build network architecture of mobile robot overother obstructions and work only in the direct line of an existing network infrastructure; the robot platformsight. Infrared is used for short distance used is Pioneer P3-DX.communication to transmit and receive data among The robot Pioneer 2-DX was used in arobots to recognize each other and also used as centralized swarm robotics, a RobART III robot wassensors to detect obstacles in the working acting as a lead robots and four Pioneer 2-DX robotsenvironment. as autonomous mobile relays to extend the effective In [3] a short range communication based on range of the robots exploring a complex interiorPulse Width Modulation (PCM) used for autonomous environment. To extend the range of digital radiosmobile robot. IR devices were used to send and and provide non-line-of-sight service, the use ofreceive data packets, the reflected infrared signal is dropped static relays or autonomous robots as relaysalso used for distance estimation [4] for obstacle have been discussed in [9].avoidance. Infrared devices also used in remotecontrol for a personal robot called “Maggie”[5], it 3.4 ZigBee Communicationworks by natural commands in human terms to ZigBee protocol uses 802.15.4 standard ascommunicate with the robot, a user speak to the baseline, it is designed to build wireless meshrobot, and the robot can understand the speaking by networks that are used when the distance of twoa speech recognition software. nodes is more than the communication range of the two nodes, other nodes in between can work as router3.2 Bluetooth Communication to retransmit the message to the last destination. Bluetooth communication or (802.14.1) ZigBee protocol added following three things to thestandard originally developed for peripheral 802.15.4 standard [10 ]:communication, between computer and printer, cell - Routing: routing tables enable nodes to passphones, cameras, GPS modules and headset, etc, its messages to neighbor nodes (multi-hop) torange starts from 10 meter and goes up to 100 meter destination.in ideal case as shown in table 1, the data rate is up to - Ad hoc networks: building a network without24Mbps, it can be used in both indoor and outdoor human intervention.robot applications. - Self-healing mesh networks: automatically discover Bluetooth transceivers can be integrated to a the failure and reconfigure the network with newmobile robot to establish a connection between a route.robot and a server as in reference [6] where a robot Devices from different vendors canplatform called “Aibot” was used and controlled in communicate with each other if designed to supportcentralized mode from a computer using Java ZigBee protocol. These devices recently commonlyprogram. Another work used Bluetooth found in [7], used because of the following features: low powera new cheap developed robot platform used in consumption, low data rate, low cost, large number ofdistributed swarm robotics. nodes, longer range (more 1 Km with XBee Pro), short time delay and high reliability.Table 1 Bluetooth Power Classes Cla Maxim Minim Table 1. Main features for wireless communication ss um um protocols Power Power S. Property IrD Bluetoot Wi- ZigBee 1 100 1 mW N A h Fi mW 1 Standard - 802.15.1 802. 802.15. 2 2.5 mW 0.25 11 4 mW 2 Physical Infra RF RF RF 3 1 mW - media red 3 Communi Few 100 100 >100m3.3 Wi-Fi Communication cation mete meter met eter Wi-Fi is also known as (802.11) standard Range rs erand wireless LAN (WLAN) is used for indoor 4 Maximum 4-16 2-24 54 250communication, its range up to 100 meters and more Data Rate Mbp Mbps Mb Kbpsthan that in case using many access points, its high s psdata rate goes till 54Mbps, this standard if used as 5 Frequency 405T 2.4 GHz 2.4 2.4transceivers onboard with a robot, it consumes a lot Band Hz - GH GHzof power, and microcontrollers that represent the 300 zbrain of robots will not be able to process such high 120 | P a g e
  3. 3. Emaad Mohamed H. Zahugi, S.V.A.V. Prasad, T.V. Prasad / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 2, Issue 5, September- October 2012, pp.119-123 GHz networks are used in swarm robotics application due6 Max. - 8 204 65000 to its characteristics in sensory and mobility. Number 8 There are many research work combining WSN and of Nodes mobile robots however wireless sensor networks in have sensors to collect information from the Network environment, but lack the mobility, Mobile robots7 Security - authentic WE AES have the mobility feature with limited sensory, (Encrypti ation and P, combining the two will produce a solution for various on) optional WP problems related to mobile robots as well as wireless encrypti A, sensor networks. The researchers of [13] used WSN on RC4 to access and control mobile robot in unstructured8 Power low Medium Hig Low environment as the robots are equipped with a sensor consumpti h node and deployed on environment already on monitored by unstructured WSN, also applied to9 Network Point Ad hoc Star Ad hoc, solve the problem of tracking in mobile robots [14] Topology to Mesh the authors propose a intrusion detection algorithm based on collecting light signal and routing protocol, multi the intrusion detection algorithm with the routing - algorithm are implemented in WSN consists of point MICS2 sensor motes. The sensors are programmed to10 Traffic - Master Acc Coordi perform tracking based on detection of light signals. controller ess nator Another work for tracking with WSN found in [15] unit Poin propose a design architecture for tracking algorithm t to trace a mobile target while ignoring others. An indoor navigation system for autonomous mobileIII. WIRELESS NETWORKS IN SWARM robots using WSN is presented in [16]. ROBOTICS Combine with ZigBee protocol WSN3.1 Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET) applied for positioning and navigation for robot [17]. Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET) are based on the Received Signal Strength Indicatorwireless communication networks that do not need (RSSI) and coordinates of the reference nodes, theinfrastructure network devices such as routers or blind node (mobile robot) computes the distancesswitches in the work place; which means there is no from reference nodes. RSSI is a function of powercentral control on the nodes (self-organized), the transmitted and the distance between transmitter andprotocol handles dynamic topology which make it receiver, it defined in this formula:suitable with a swarm of robots. RSSI= - (10 n log10 d + A) (1) MANETs are fast deployment and used to Where: n is constant related to the signalavoid problems could happen after a disaster that lead transmission power with the increasing distance, d isto discontinue of the various networks such as distance between transmitter and receiver, A is theinternet connection and electricity. It consists of value of the average power at reference distance ofmobile nodes in a distributed structure. Therefore this one meter. In [18] an algorithm used the sametype of networks can be used in swarm robotics concept of RSSI to estimate distance between theapplications like exploring unknown environment nodes in WSN and reference nodes based on Zigbeeand search and rescue tasks as in [11] where a protocol. The positioning problem of mobile robotdisaster scenario covered is a large industrial also solved using WSN with ZigBee [19].warehouse in a fire, the ad hoc networks increase the This paper presents a method for positioningcoverage area of the fire fighters and can provide mobile robot based on ZigBee WSN and a visionposition data to support localization of the mobile system where a ceiling light used as a land marks.robots. authors of [12] present the background of ad- WSNs are also applied to solve localization problemshoc robot wireless communications, and their and different solution for the navigation problem isapplications. presented [20-21]. The requirements for a sensor network communication infrastructure are therefore3.2 Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) similar to robotic swarms, but differ in the mobility Wireless sensor networks are networks that of nodes, Another difference which is being causedare based on distributed nodes in predefined space or by node mobility is optimization of energyany environment, and usually used to monitor the consumption. An algorithm based on processing ofenvironment conditions in real time using sensors radio signal strength data was developed so the robotwith limited processing power, memory and power could successfully decide which node neighborhoodsupply. Applications of WSN such as monitoring it belonged to however sensor nodes act as signpoststemperature, pressure, humidity, light intensity, for the robot to follow [22]. In [23] the authorssound and vibration, etc. mobile wireless sensor choose to discuss the similarities and the differences 121 | P a g e
  4. 4. Emaad Mohamed H. Zahugi, S.V.A.V. Prasad, T.V. Prasad / International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA) ISSN: 2248-9622 www.ijera.com Vol. 2, Issue 5, September- October 2012, pp.119-123 between Ad-hoc networks and wireless sensor 4.5 Length of Message networks. any communication protocol contains header information that is sent with all the messages, soIV. COMMUNICATION ISSUES IN SWARM robots should be programmed to exchange short ROBOTICS messages as much as possible. 4.1 Communication Range for wireless networks in swarm robotic 4.6 Traffic redundancy system, the communication range is strongly based This problem in cooperative behavior of on the power consumption, the more transmission swarm robots is needed to be studied. The change of range is the more power consumption, if a source the communication frequency in a swarm system will node needs to communicate with a destination node, affect the performance of the system, however and the distance between them is more than the range individuals with high frequency will increase the of the source node, than multi-hop communication is overhead time, complexity and may lead to network required, even though short range transmission to the congestion. Individuals with low frequency may neighbor node is low power consumption, large reduce traffic and overhead of the network but it may number hops is also an issue as shown in figure 1. lead to other problems like collision among In [24] an analytical model to investigate the optimal individuals and partition the swarm. value of the radio transmission range is proposed for wireless ad hoc networks. The work investigated the 4.7 Interferences applicability of the optimal per-hop transmission Interference or noise could be produced from range that derived to the situation where the energy nearby wireless connections, the sunlight or things efficiency of the entire path from the originating like the infrared port of a laptop or even some metal source node to the final destination is considered. A surfaces or any electric devices that produce distributed position-based self-reconfigurable magnetic field. network protocol that minimizes energy consumption was proposed in [25]. It was shown that the proposed 4.8 Mobile Communication protocol can stay close to the minimum energy Mobile nodes are more complicated than fixed solution when it is applied to mobile networks. Based nodes when advanced protocols for mobility are on the application and the environment the developer employed. can choose the transceiver to be used on the robot platform, if the range is not enough to cover the 4.9 Number of Robots in a Swarm concerned area, multi-hop communication is an As the number of individuals in swarm increase, option. the network overhead increase. 4.2 Communication Topology 4.10 Security The best topology for any swarm system is To avoid an intruder from joining the swarm or mobile ad hoc networks as the topology may change receive the exchanged messages among robots, at any time due to the mobility of the robots. encryption algorithms can be used. 4.3 Bandwidth V. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK When the robots employed to transmit high data Wireless communication in swarm robotics rate as a video stream, then Wi-Fi is required, with is the most important parameter, however all other the a drawback of power consuming, which means parameters based on communication, choosing the the battery of the mobile robots will be discharged communication system depends on the nature of the quickly application, the environment and number of robots in 4.4 Environment swarm. When designing swarm robotics networks, The communication depends on the type of the performance need to be evaluated according to environment the robots will be used for, like on the the real requirements. Simulation programs were ground, underwater or flying robots. used in most of the mentioned papers and applying some of the proposed communication algorithms in practical is needed. REFERENCES [1] Christian Blum and Daniel Merkle, (2008) “Swarm Intelligence introduction and applications”, Springer. [2] Andreas Birk and Cosmin Condea, (2005)“Mobile Robot Communication without the Drawbacks of Wireless Networking”, Fig. 1 Schematic representation of communication RoboCup book , Pages 585-592. between two nodes in WSN [23]. 122 | P a g e
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