Completely Wireless Development System for Mobile Robots

This paper presents the design and implementation of a Wireless Development System (WDS) for mobile robots. The WDS has unique features that can greatly facilitate the development and debugging process for mobile robots. In experimentation with mobile robots, a development cycle usually consists of two parts: run-time, and what we call "debug-time." Debug-time is the portion of the development cycle in which the experimenter modifies and compiles the software that controls the functions of the mobile robot. Then, during run-time, the robot is actually moving while the experimenter evaluates the effects of the software modifications.

The described WDS provides a wireless user-interface for both components of the development cycle, allowing the experimenter full interaction with the onboard computer from a stationary location. The paper provides information on the three main components of the WDS: One component is a radio control-to-computer interface for wireless joystick operation. This interface is inexpensive, independent of the type of onboard computer, and provides important safety features. The second component is the wireless computer-computer interface, which is specifically designed for IBMPC type computers. The optional third component of the WDS provides graphical video feedback from the onboard computer during run-time.

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