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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1013; doi:10.3390/s17051013

Distributed and Modular CAN-Based Architecture for Hardware Control and Sensor Data Integration

Robotics and Control Unit, AIMEN Technology Centre, Porriño 36410, Spain
Department of System Engineering and Automation, University of Vigo, Vigo 36310, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Neal N. Xiong, Athanasios V. Vasilakos and Sajid Hussain
Received: 5 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3681 KB, uploaded 3 May 2017]   |  


In this article, we present a CAN-based (Controller Area Network) distributed system to integrate sensors, actuators and hardware controllers in a mobile robot platform. With this work, we provide a robust, simple, flexible and open system to make hardware elements or subsystems communicate, that can be applied to different robots or mobile platforms. Hardware modules can be connected to or disconnected from the CAN bus while the system is working. It has been tested in our mobile robot Rato, based on a RWI (Real World Interface) mobile platform, to replace the old sensor and motor controllers. It has also been used in the design of two new robots: BellBot and WatchBot. Currently, our hardware integration architecture supports different sensors, actuators and control subsystems, such as motor controllers and inertial measurement units. The integration architecture was tested and compared with other solutions through a performance analysis of relevant parameters such as transmission efficiency and bandwidth usage. The results conclude that the proposed solution implements a lightweight communication protocol for mobile robot applications that avoids transmission delays and overhead. View Full-Text
Keywords: mobile robots; distributed control; CAN bus; software agents; software components mobile robots; distributed control; CAN bus; software agents; software components

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Losada, D.P.; Fernández, J.L.; Paz, E.; Sanz, R. Distributed and Modular CAN-Based Architecture for Hardware Control and Sensor Data Integration. Sensors 2017, 17, 1013.

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