This work presents a set of techniques to improve the cross-compatibility between the Webots simulator and the educational e-puck mobile robot. The work is motivated by the need of a realistic simulation environment, especially designed to consider the unique challenges associated to multi-robot systems (MRS), such as the robot-robot interaction (RRI). This article starts by proposing a new Webots programming architecture that provides full control of the e-puck's firmware. By doing so, one can easily improve the already existing e-puck's functionalities on Webots, as well as adding new functionalities required by most MRS applications. Among the range of new possible functionalities, this article describes the successful implementation of the microphone, the speaker, and the Bluetooth for robot-robot communication. Due to the limitations of the e-puck's Bluetooth modules, this work goes even further by bringing some insights about the Gumstix Overo COM turret and how robot-robot communication may be achieved using WiFi technology. The outcomes provided by the experiments conducted using both virtual and real e-pucks under the Webots framework open new doors for low-cost multi-robot applications.
- Educational tools
- Mobile robots
- Multi-robot systems
- Robot-robot interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Computer Science Applications