While a managed setup could have been used for the Roomba implementaiton, our standard ad-hoc networking was used that we typically deploy in the field. This allows for decentralized communication, and does not constrain the system unnecessarily by requiring a centralized coordinator.
If you're looking for ease of use in Linux, it is our experience that there is only one chipset to use for wireless: Atheros.
After experimenting with DSR (Dynamic Source Routing), it was determined that for the relatively high velocity of unmanned aircraft required the use of AODV (Ad-Hoc On Demand Distance Vectoring). AODV-UU was chosen because of its compatibility with the 2.6 kernel, but it is limited to the 220.127.116.11 kernel until a newer version is released. The software seems to generally work fine, but we have seen some issues where two radios won't communicate with each other until the module is restarted.
Libtrace enables the collection of network statistics that we base controllers on for optimal communication, and send to connected GUIs for network link visualization.