Token Ring-P2P API


An extra layer of communication is added to the Crazyflie API to allow for robust and more reliable peer to peer communication. This is done by implementing a token ring protocol on top of the peer to peer API.The Token Ring Protocol is assuming that the nodes are static and the communication is not changing. The protocol is implemented by using a token ring structure. The token ring structure is a circular linked list of nodes. The nodes are connected by a ring of links. The ring is formed by the nodes in the order they are connected. The first node is connected to the last node and the last node is connected to the first node. This protocol is used to ensure that each time only one Crazyflie broadcasts data which leads to less packet collisions and losses. It also provides a way to ensure that the transmitted data will be sent to the other copters since it receives an acknowledgement from each receiver.

Currently, peer to peer communication on the Crazyflie along with Token Ring Protocol are in development. An API is made available to send and receive packets to and from other Crazyflies by letting the protocol automatically handle the lower level interactions with P2P API. The protocol runs as a separate task and utilizes a separate port of the P2P API. Thus the user is given the freedom to use both the P2P API and the DTR protocol at the same time,depending on the use case and the problem to be solved.

The interface with the Token Ring Protocol is achieved by using 2 queues. One queue is used to send messages to the protocol and the other queue is used to receive messages from the protocol. In that sense ,the execution of the protocol won’t block the execution of the rest of the user code and the user can send and receive messages asynchronously.

Using the Token Ring API

Functions and structures are defined in the header files src/modules/interface/p2pDTR/DTR_types.h and src/modules/interface/p2pDTR/token_ring.h. There is also an app layer example (/app_p2p_DTR/) available in the example folder of the repository.

Each packet has the following structure:

typedef struct {
	uint8_t packetSize;
	uint8_t messageType;
	uint8_t sourceId;
	uint8_t targetId;
	uint8_t dataSize;
} dtrPacket;

Where packetSize is the size of the packet in bytes, messageType is the type of the message, sourceID is the ID of the source, targetId is the ID of the target. Keep in mind that due to the nature of the P2P protocol even if one node is targeted the data may be received from the others before it as well, the difference is that the sending of data stops as soon as it is received from the desired node. If broadcast in all nodes is demanded, targetId must be set to 0xFF. dataSize is the size of the data in bytes, Data is the data of the message.The maximum size of the data is 55 since the data for the P2P is 60 and the protocol occupies 5 of them for operation.

Setting up the Token Ring Protocol

Since the nodes od the token ring are static, the user has to define the topology of the network. The topology is defined by the number of nodes and their ids in the order they are connected. The topology is defined like following:

#define NETWORK_TOPOLOGY {.size = 4, .devices_ids = {0, 1, 2, 3} } // Maximum size of network is 20 by default
static dtrTopology topology = NETWORK_TOPOLOGY;


void main() {
  // Start the token ring protocol

In the example above, the topology is defined as having 4 nodes and their ids are 1, 0, 2, 3.

Feeding incoming packets to the protocol

In order for the protocol to work, the user must feed the protocol with incoming packets. This is done by calling the function dtrP2PIncomingHandler which in the interface for receiving P2P packets. As mentioned above the protocol uses the port 15 of the P2P API, so it automatically checks if the packet is coming from the port 15 and if it is, it handles it. Otherwise it is discarded.The function returns true if the packet was handled and false otherwise.

Example usage :

void p2pCallbackHandler(P2PPacket *p){
	// If the packet is a DTR service packet, then the handler will handle it.
   if (!dtrP2PIncomingHandler(p)){
		// If packet was not handled from DTR , then it is a normal packet 
		// that user has to handle. 
		// Write your own code below ...


void main(){
  // Register the callback function to handle incoming packets.

Data Broadcast

To send data through the protocol, the user must call the function dtrSendPacket.

  bool dtrSendPacket(dtrPacket* packet)

This function takes the packet to be sent as a parameter. The packet must be filled wit the data the user wants to send and by defining the size of them. The function returns true if the packet was sent successfully to the DTR (not to the receiver copter) and false otherwise.Keep in mind that the packet is sent asynchronously and the user can continue to use the P2P API while the packet is being sent.It is not necessary to fill the .sourceId, messageType, packetSize fields of the packet since they are automatically filled by the API function. After the execution of the function, the new packet is inserted in the queue of the protocol responsible for all the packets to be sent.

Example Usage:

  // Initialize the packet
  dtrPacket packet;

  // Fill the packet with the data
  packet.dataSize = 3;[0] = 0x01;[1] = 0x02;[2] = 0x03;
  packet.targetId = 0xFF;

Receive Data

The user must call the function dtrGetPacket to receive a packet from the DTR.

bool dtrGetPacket(dtrPacket* packet, uint32_t timeout);

The function blocks for the specified time (in ticks) until a packet is received. If the user wants to block indefinitely, the timeout parameter must be set to portMAX_DELAY. The function returns true if a packet was received and false otherwise. If a packet is received, the packet is filled with the data received. In case it was received, the packet is filled with the data received and the corresponding packet is released from the queue responsible for the reception of the DTR packets. Example Usage:

// Initialize the packet
dtrPacket packet;

// Receive the packet
  dtrGetPacket(&packet, portMAX_DELAY);
  if(packet.dataSize > 0){
    // Do something with the packet
    for (int i = 0; i < packet.dataSize; i++){
      printf("%d ",[i]);