[ros-users] [Discourse.ros.org] Experiences with Distributed ROS

Loy van Beek ros.discourse at gmail.com
Mon May 1 17:10:06 UTC 2017

The most interesting setup I used was:
* a mobile robot with 2 PCs. One of these ran a OpenVPN server
* wired to a router
* that router bridged to a WLAN with multiple access points
* the care home's (in which the robot worked) network was configured to port-forward to the OpenVPN server
* A control station some 60-70km away VPNed into the robot. 

This resulted in a ca. 100ms ping time. With this, I could teleop the robot's base and arms using the on-board Kinect, so OK data rate as well.  

Lessons learned: 
- Tuning a multi-access point WLAN, where the robot roams between APs, is some work. Contrary to my intuition at the time, is that you do *not* want to have each AP at a high power but instead low. That way, the robot switches to the now-closest AP faster, yielding a better connection. WiFi is designed to stay 'attached' to the current AP as long as it gets a signal, even though it may be weak. Dropping a low signal early is better in that case.
- Running the VPN server on the robot is not the way to go... The server should be on a public IP, the robot behind a firewall.

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