This paper presents a novel approach of using a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) as the communication means for Multi-Robot, Cooperative, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (CSLAM) applications investigating the associated design challenges and suggesting corresponding solutions. Although the proposed approach brings several benefits including an increased coverage and communication range, self-organization capabilities, quick deployment, and flexible architecture, the realization is interrelated with performance in terms of energy efficiency and reliability. In this respect, the applicability of the WSNs for the presented approach is investigated. Centralized and distributed map merging methods in WSN-based CSLAM are evaluated in detail and the impacts of packet delays and losses on the performance of CSLAM algorithms are shown. Additionally, the involved network congestion and contention dynamics are presented, while the effects of observation range, speed, time intervals between observations, and odometry readings on the SLAM accuracy are shown based on an extensive set of simulation studies. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.