The development of a novel architecture called Wireless Ad-hoc Control Networks (WACNets) is reported WACNet (Wireless Ad-hoc Control Network) is a novel concept developed by Intelligent Mechatronics Research Centre, University of Wollongong, towards providing a framework for highly distributed intelligent wireless control networks. A WACNet consists of intelligent nodes based on IEEE 1451 Smart Sensor with a wireless means of communication (BlueTooth). The focus in this paper is on designing a suitable wireless communication system for this network. In the earlier design, the wireless communications was developed based on Bluetooth and WiFi standards. While being successful, they showed some limitations for control networks applications. In the latest test-bed, ZigBee RF standard is deployed. This has opened new perspectives for wireless control networks. ZigBee modules can form a flexible ad-hoc network with no infrastructure. ZigBee is also self-configuring, offers interesting transmission ranges and is the most energy efficient compared to the previous options. The WACNet architecture is introduced. Different test-beds developed are described. The performance of the ZigBee based system is compared with the previous implementations in the context of latency and throughput. Results are presented, and some conclusions are drawn.