This work presents a robotic application aimed at performing environmental monitoring in data centers. Due to the high energy density managed in data centers, environmental monitoring is crucial for controlling air temperature and humidity throughout the whole environment, in order to improve power efficiency, avoid hardware failures and maximize the life cycle of IT devices. State of the art solutions for data center monitoring are nowadays based on environmental sensor networks, which continuously collect temperature and humidity data. These solutions are still expensive and do not scale well in large environments. This paper presents an alternative to environmental sensor networks that relies on autonomous mobile robots equipped with environmental sensors. The robots are controlled by a centralized cloud robotics platform that enables autonomous navigation and provides a remote client user interface for system management. From the user point of view, our solution simulates an environmental sensor network. The system can easily be reconfigured in order to adapt to management requirements and changes in the layout of the data center. For this reason, it is called the virtual sensor network. This paper discusses the implementation choices with regards to the particular requirements of the application and presents and discusses data collected during a long-term experiment in a real scenario.
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