A Collaborative Work Cell Testbed for Industrial Wireless Communications - The Baseline Design
Yongkang Liu, Richard Candell, Mohamed T. Hany, Karl R. Montgomery
The work cell is an essential industrial environment for testing wireless communication techniques in factory automation processes. A new testbed was recently designed and developed to facilitate such studies in work cells by replicating various data flows in an emulated production environment. In this paper, the testbed's baseline design characterizes deterministic and reliable communication needs between work cell components in a typical machine tending application. Special design issues are discussed regarding safety measures in collaborative robotic operations and network synchronization among distributed machines. Measurement plans in the hardwired baseline are also introduced along with further wireless extensions. The testbed can serve as a representative cyber-physical system (CPS) model to verify industrial wireless techniques in support of mission-critical data transmissions.