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We want to demonstrate a decentralized algorithm for a team of mobile robots (~ 10 robots). We have WiFi adapters on each robot. It is not clear how we can do peer-to-peer communication between robots. We do not want to have a centralized router for communication. How can such a system be implemented? I couldn't find anything in the ROS2 documentation. The fast-DDS discovery server was the best I could find. But it seems we would need a centralized server for this as well. Maybe each robot acts as a discovery server.

Notes:

  1. Mobile robots are moving in the environment. So, there will be a loss of communication and a change in the network topology.
  2. One possible solution we were considering was that each robot alternately broadcasts its message and receives a broadcast message. I am not sure if this is the best solution and how to implement it in ROS2.

P.S.: I understand that this might be a vague question at the moment. I will improve it as I get more concrete information.

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ROS2 is inherently decentralized as it uses DDS. So as long as the controller hostnames are known to eachother (via a private network/VPN or some other goofy networking if not on the same router), these controllers are all seen as being in the same ROS2 ecosystem when configured correctly and can publish/subscribe to topics.

I did this with ROS1 using husarnet VPN because it's lightweight and pretty much plug and play (and it has good documentation with ROS). Good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Husarnet seems to have a solution for ROS2 as well. The robots do not have a centralized router. So, I guess we will need some "other goofy networking". But that's what I am trying to figure out. $\endgroup$
    – Marvin
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ Do all robots have access to the internet? If so, husarnet will be your solution. Little additional networking required. It creates a virtual network that would pretty much act as if the controller's were on the same central router (hostnames and IP's will be discoverable to eachother) $\endgroup$
    – Chase
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 4:11
  • $\begingroup$ We can have internet access during setup. However, in practice, we do not want to have internet access, as it would no longer be a decentralized system. $\endgroup$
    – Marvin
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting what is going to be the communication medium then? $\endgroup$
    – Chase
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ Each robot has a WiFi adapter. They should be able to communicate with each other directly without needing something else, isn't it? Don't know how, especially when we have moving robots. $\endgroup$
    – Marvin
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 22:57

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