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Mesh Networked Mobile Robots: A Framework Of Laboratory Experiments For Courses In Wireless Communications

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

New Trends in ECE Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

15.868.1 - 15.868.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15743

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

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Wookwon Lee Gannon University

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Wookwon Lee, P.E. received the B.S. degree in electronic engineering from Inha University, Korea, in 1985, and the M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the George Washington University, Washington, DC, in 1992 and 1995, respectively. He is currently on the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Gannon University, Erie, PA. Prior to joining Gannon, he had been involved in various research and development projects in communications for more than 12 years in industry and academia.

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Sreeramachandra K. Mutya Gannon University

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Sreeramachandra K. Mutya received his Bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering from Bharath University, Chennai, India in 2007. He is pursuing a master's degree in electrical engineering at Gannon University, Erie, PA, where he currently works as a graduate research assistant. His research interests include wireless communications, computer communications, and real-time systems.

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Kirankumar Palthi Gannon University

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Kirankumar Palthi received his Bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India in 2008. He is pursuing a master's degree in embedded software engineering at Gannon University, Erie, PA, where he currently works as a graduate research assistant. His research interests include wireless communications, signal processing, embedded systems, and digital Electronics.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Mesh-Networked Mobile Robots: A Framework of Laboratory Experiments for Courses in Wireless Communications

Abstract

In this paper, we present an exemplary framework suitable for laboratory experiments for undergraduate courses in communications. Initially designed to be a test-bed for a small wireless mesh-networked system, the framework consists of a graphical user interface (GUI) for a control center, a software-based interface referred to as the Synapse Portal, a mesh-networking node referred to as the Bridge, and multiple mesh-networking End Nodes each of which is integrated into a three-wheel mobile robot. The development of the test-bed requires an integration of two microcontrollers of different code-execution speeds in cascade. In this paper, along with design details and relevant specifics of all components of the test-bed, we discuss issues encountered during the development and how we addressed them to successfully realize a functioning mesh network of mobile robots. Based on our observations during the development, we believe that the test-bed can be useful for addressing ABET engineering criteria, and also developing a set of small-scale laboratory experiments for undergraduate courses in the areas of communications.

I. Introduction

The work presented in this paper initially began as a small research project involving master- level graduate students on indoor positioning. Research on indoor positioning has been intense over the past few years to facilitate a broader spectrum of location-based services and applications. It is well known that due to the inherent limitations of the satellite signals, the global positioning system (GPS)-based technologies do not work well in indoor environment. Several alternative approaches have been reported in the literature, and they can be classified largely into four categories: i) infrared signal-based, ii) ultrasound signal-based, iii) microwave (satellite) signal-based, and iv) radio-frequency (RF) signal-based. Partly due to the advantages in signal propagation under diverse indoor scenarios, the RF signal-based approach has become most popular for indoor positioning systems1-4. In these approaches, location estimation techniques are typically based on one or more of statistical parameters such as received signal strength (RSS), time of arrival (TOA), and angle of arrival (AOA). More recently, a new approach was proposed based on a new statistical parameter called the angle of transmission (AOT)5. The AOT is a spatial direction of the main lobe of a beam pattern generated by transmit- beamforming. The approach exploits the spatial information embedded in the signal transmitted from an antenna array. In this scheme, each mobile node with an omni-directional, single- element antenna estimates the AOT based on one (or more than one) signature signal(s) transmitted from the fixed node equipped with an antenna array. The mobile node then further estimates its distance from the fixed node based on the RSS of the signature signal to ultimately be able to pin-point its location in the polar coordinates where the fixed node is assumed to be at the origin.

Although our work on a prototype of an indoor positioning system exploiting AOT will need to be continued to the next stage, up to the current state as described below with more details, the

Lee, W., & Mutya, S. K., & Palthi, K. (2010, June), Mesh Networked Mobile Robots: A Framework Of Laboratory Experiments For Courses In Wireless Communications Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15743

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