Internet-Based Tele-Laboratory: Remote Experiments Using the SNRP Distributed Network Architecture
This chapter describes the way students at the UJI University (Jaume I University of Castellon) are able to design remote visual servoing experiments from any computer connected to the Internet. These experiments are able to control a set of real robotic devices such as manipulators, cameras, and sensors. It means the experiments are finally executed on real robots instead of 3D simulations.
In fact, the experiments presented in this chapter focus on the on-hand visual servoing problem, which has been possible thanks to the images obtained from a camera mounted on the gripper of an educational robot.
Moreover, the Distributed Network Architecture is presented, which permits any external algorithm to have access to the state and services of several network robots (e.g. robots control, network cameras, object recognition, etc)  . We call this architecture SNRP (Simple Network Robot Protocol), due to the fact that commanding a robot via Internet follows a very simple Web Service protocol.
Simplicity is maybe the most important challenge of a network robotics architecture, due to the fact that it must be possible for a very broad range of devices to be part of it. In fact, thanks to this simplicity we were able to implement a prototype of SNRP Network Camera using an FPGA.
The last part of the article explains how the system can execute remote experiments that use several SNRP robots in a concurrent and synchronized manner. As an example two educational manipulators and a mobile robot are used to simulate an industrial task.
KeywordsDistributed Systems Internet Network Robot Multirobot Programming Remote Visual Servoing
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