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A Collaborative Robot Work-Cell Testbed for Industrial Wireless Communications



Yongkang Liu, Mohamed Hany, Karl Montgomery, Rick Candell


We propose a new testbed for assessing the performance of wireless techniques in support of industrial operations. We developed a collaborative robot work-cell manufacturing scenario as the emulated cyber-physical system (CPS) model. Specifically, data flows between networked work-cell components, e.g., programmable logic controllers (PLC), robotic arms, and machining tools, were identified by specific industrial communication protocols; network connections were also defined for both Ethernet-based wired links and alternative wireless interfaces. A measurement framework was introduced to collect various system events from both work-cell operations and network traffics; a distributed clock synchronization scheme was developed to ensure the consistency of measurement record timing at different sources. To facilitate offline performance analysis and data exploration, a new data pipeline was adopted that uses the graph database (GDB) for testbed data management. The developed testbed has been in use in evaluating industrial wireless performance by the NIST team and industrial partners.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8365
Report Number


Cyber-physical system (CPS), smart manufacturing, testbed, wireless communications


Liu, Y. , Hany, M. , Montgomery, K. and Candell, R. (2021), A Collaborative Robot Work-Cell Testbed for Industrial Wireless Communications, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created May 19, 2021, Updated October 12, 2021