Empirical Analysis of Bi-directional Wi-Fi Network Performance on Mobile Robots in Indoor Environments

Pranav Pandey, Ramviyas Parasuraman

This paper proposes a framework to measure the important metrics (throughput, delay, packet retransmits, signal strength, etc.) to determine Wi-Fi network performance of mobile robots supported by the Robot Operating Systems (ROS) middleware. We analyze the bidirectional network performance of mobile robots through an experimental setup in an indoor environment, where a mobile robot is communicating vital sensor data such as video streaming from the camera(s) and LiDAR scan values to a command station while it navigates an indoor environment through teleoperated velocity commands received from the command station. The experiments evaluate the performance under 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels with different placement of Access Points (AP) with up to two network devices on each side. The framework is generalizable to vehicular network evaluation and the discussions and insights from this study apply to the field robotics community, where the wireless network plays a key role in enabling the success of robotic missions in real-world environments.

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