Industrial Internet of things at work: a case study analysis in robotic-aided environmental monitoring
IET Wireless Sensor Systems
Nowadays, Internet of Things (IoT) and robotic systems are key drivers of technological innovation trends. Leveraging the advantages of both technologies, IoT-aided robotic systems can disclose a disruptive potential of opportunities The present contribution provides an experimental analysis of an IoT-aided robotic system for environmental monitoring. To this end, an experimental testbed has been developed. It is composed of: (i) an IoT device connected to (ii) a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
... ich executes a patrolling mission within a specified area where (iii) an IoT network has been deployed to sense environmental data. An extensive experimental campaign has been carried out to scavenge pros and cons of adopted technologies. The key results of our analysis show that: (i) the UAV does not incur any significant overhead due to on board IoT equipment and (ii) the overall Quality of Service (QoS) expressed in terms of network joining time, data retrieval delay and Packet Loss Ratio (PLR) satisfies the mission requirements. These results enable further development in larger scale environment. ture  and environmental monitoring  , to name a few. Nowadays, a mobile robot is able to move autonomously and interact with the environment (e.g., a self-driving car is a special case of a mobile robot  ). This is particularly true in structured situations  . Much efforts is still required in big, harsh and dynamic scenarios such as deep ocean waters  , polar regions  , and space exploration  . Something similar happens in less extended, but not less complex, scenarios such as the human body  . Currently, the robotic community is mainly focused on the study of robotic networks. Generally speaking, a robotic network is composed by several robots able to exchange information over a communication network to accomplish collaborative tasks  . Researches in IoT-aided robotic systems are paving the way to a digital eco-system where robots and IoT devices interact on a cooperative basis  . This ambitious goal is made possible as most of modern robots are already equipped with sensing, computing, and communication capabilities that allow them to execute complex and coordinated operations. This work explores the interaction between robotic systems and IoT technologies by proposing an experimental analysis of an IoTaided robotic system for environmental monitoring. In particular, an experimental testbed has been setup. It is composed by: (i) a UAV, equipped with (ii) an IoT device, patrolling an area in which (iii) an IoT network has been deployed. The UAV is able to follow a mission plan, flying through the area of interest, join the IoT network and effectively retrieve environmental data coming from the sensors belonging to the end nodes. Encouraging results come from low power consumption overhead contributed by the IoT device on board of the UAV which is fully compatible with the flight range of the UAV. Moreover, measured QoS indices, i.e., task execution times and PLR, resulted in suitable values for the envisioned application. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 provides a complete description of both the robotic networks and IPv6 over the TSCH mode of IEEE 802.15.4 (6TiSCH) technology, with a detailed overview of state of the art of the interaction between IoT technologies and robotic systems. Section 3 presents the operating scenario, the enabling technologies and the way they are integrated. Section 4 describes the envisioned experiments and related results. With Section 5, a complete outline of the outcomes is given, highlighting achievements and proposing future work possibilities.