BSwarm robot — A low cost mobile wireless sensor research platform using COTS products

MWSN is an emerging area of research and most of the work in the field of MWSN is done at the simulation level as there is hardly any cost effective hardware platform(node/mote) available for MWSN applications. To handle mobility, the MWSN node should be much more efficient than the nodes in static WSN. Moreover, a MWSN node should be capable of handling real time mobility control, path planning and navigation. The application domains of MWSN can be further expanded by incorporating swarm like intelligence in MWSN. We have developed a low cost, small form factor hardware platform which will function as a node in MWSN using custom off the shelf(COTS) products. Our mobile hardware platform, henceforth called as BSwarm robot supports self-assembly, to achieve complex tasks.

The platform also support image assisted navigation and provides extensive I/O support for further feature expansion. The testbed consisting of multiple BSwarm robot can be utilized for the development and validation of algorithms/protocols related to MWSNs, distributed control of Swarm robots, real timeimage processing etc. BSwarm robot is a multi processor based robot designed in such a way that it can be used for applications which may demand varied degree of processing, communication and input-output capabilities. This paper also highlights major factors that can be taken into consideration while choosing the hardware platform for MWSNs so that the protocol stack development for MWSNs becomes easier.

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