UWEE Tech Report Series

Feasibility Study of DTMF Communications for Robots


Tho Nguyen, Linda Bushnell

Dual-Tone, Multi-Frequency, Robots, Communication.


As the development of individual and cooperating autonomous robots advances, the need for a robust and reliable communication method becomes apparent. This paper summarizes a study conducted to examine the feasibility of implementing Dual-Tone, Multi-Frequency (DTMF) as an alternative mean of communication to Radio Frequency (RF). With advantages of simplicity and audibility, the hypothesis is that DTMF could replace RF in simple communications between robots or robots and devices. The conclusion is that acoustic communication in general not recommended for mobile robot applications due to the unreliability in acoustical integrity of the signal during transmission. This paper proposes other application areas, such as hospital/home healthcare environments and large networks with static nodes, where DTMF is feasible and would be advantageous over RF.

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