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Wireless Map-Based Handoffs for Mobile Robots

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1981 by Richard Wang, Matthew K. Mukerjee, Manuela M. Veloso, Srinivasan Seshan

Most wireless solutions today are centered around people-centric devices like laptops and cell phones that are insufficient for mobile robots. The key difference is that people-centric devices use wireless connectivity in bursts under primarily stationary settings while mobile robots continuously transmit data even while moving. When mobile robots use existing wireless solutions, it results in intolerable and seemingly random interruptions in wireless connectivity when moving [1]. These wireless issues stem from suboptimal switching across wireless infrastructure access points (APs), also called AP handoffs. These poor handoff decisions are due to stateless handoff algorithms that make wireless decisions solely from immediate and noisy scans of surrounding wireless conditions. In this paper, we propose to overcome these motion-based wireless connectivity issues for autonomous robots using highly informed handoff algorithms that combine fine-grain wireless maps with accurate robot localization. Our results show significant wireless performance improvements for continuously moving robots in real environments without any modifications to the wireless infrastructure.


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