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MOTEL: Mobility Enabled Wireless Sensor Network Testbed
Anna Förster, Alexander Förster, Kamini Garg, Silvia Giordano and Luca M. Gambardella

We present MOTEL: a robotic-assisted flexible mobile wireless sensor network testbed. MOTEL enables the deployment and testing of wireless sensor nodes, piggybacked on mobile robots to enable their controlled mobility. MOTEL exhibits several important novel properties, compared to existing mobility enabled WSN testbeds. First, the mobility of the robots is fully controlled, flexible and repeatable. Furthermore, the number of robots is unlimited and the used robotic platform can be exchanged easily. Second, the sensor nodes use our flexible software architecture called FLEXOR to enable standard testbed tools like software exchange, sensor node inspection and data logging on the wirelessly connected nodes. Last, but not least, MOTEL can be deployed in any indoor environment in several hours, which makes it well suited for various experimentation and testing purposes.

In this paper, we present the design and implementation details of both MOTEL components: the mobile robot control MuRobA and the WSN software architecture FLEXOR. We also present the tools and the usage of MOTEL as a whole, as well as an experimental scenario to demonstrate the usage of MOTEL.

Keywords: Wireless sensor network testbeds, programming and deployment, mobility, robot localization and navigation

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