Skip to main content

Dynamic model based formation control and obstacle avoidance of multi-robot systems

  • Celso De La Cruz (a1) and Ricardo Carelli (a1)

This work presents, first, a complete dynamic model of a unicycle-like mobile robot that takes part in a multi-robot formation. A linear parameterization of this model is performed in order to identify the model parameters. Then, the robot model is input-output feedback linearized. On a second stage, for the multi-robot system, a model is obtained by arranging into a single equation all the feedback linearized robot models. This multi-robot model is expressed in terms of formation states by applying a coordinate transformation. The inverse dynamics technique is then applied to design a formation control. The controller can be applied both to positioning and to tracking desired robot formations. The formation control can be centralized or decentralized and scalable to any number of robots. A strategy for rigid formation obstacle avoidance is also proposed. Experimental results validate the control system design.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Hide All
1.Antonelli, G. and Chiaverini, S., “Kinematic Control of a Platoon of Autonomous Vehicles,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Taipei, Taiwan (September 2003) pp. 1464–1469.
2.Aström, K. J. and Wittenmark, B., Adaptive Control (Addison-Wesley, 1995).
3.Balch, T. and Arkin, R. C., “Behavior-Based Formation Control for Multirobot teams,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 14 (6) (December 1998) pp. 926939.
4.Balch, T. and Hybinette, M., “Social Potentials for Scalable Multi-Robot Formations,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, San Francisco (April 2000) pp. 73–80.
5.Belta, C. and Kumar, V., “Trajectory Design for Formations of Robots by Kinetic Energy Shaping,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Washington, DC (May 2002) pp. 2593–2598.
6.Bishop, B. E., “Dynamics-Based Control of Robotic Swarms,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Orlando, Florida (May 2006) pp. 2763–768.
7.Boyden, F. D. and Velinsky, S. A., “Dynamic Modeling of Wheeled Mobile Robots for High Load Applications,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 4, (1994), pp. 30713078.
8.Carelli, R., Nasisi, O.Roberti, F. and Tosetti, S., “Direct visual tracking control of remote cellular robots,” 13th. Int. Symposium on Measurement and Control in Robotics – Towards advanced robots: Design, sensors, control, Applications – ISMCR'03, Madrid (December 2003), pp. 11–12.
9.Das, A. K., Fierro, R., Kumar, V., Ostrowski, J. P., Spletzer, J. and Taylor, C. J., “A vision-Based Formation Control Framework,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 18 (5), (October 2002) pp. 813825.
10.Desai, J. P., Ostrowski, J. and Kumar, V., “Controlling Formations of Multiple Mobile robots,” In Proc. IEEE International Conference Robotics and Automation, Leuven, Belgium (May 1998) pp. 2864–2869.
11.Fierro, R., Das, A. K., Kumar, V., and Ostrowski, J. P., “Hibrid Control of Formations of Robots,” In Proc. IEEE International Conference Robotics and Automation, Seoul, Korea (May 2001) pp. 3672–3677.
12.Fredslund, J. and Mataric, M. J., “Robot Formations Using only Local Sensing and Control,” IEEE International Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation, Banff, Alberta, Canada (July 2001) pp. 308–313.
13.Kelly, R., Carelli, R., Zannatha, J. M. Ibarra and Monroy, C., “Formation Tracking Control of a Group of Mobile Robots,” In Spanish. VI Congreso Mexicano de Robótica, COMRob, Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico (October 2004).
14.Lawton, J. R. T., Beard, R. W. and Young, B. J., “A decentralized Approach to Formation Maneuvers,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 19 (6), (December 2003) pp. 933941.
15.Mariottini, G. L., Morbidi, F., Prattichizzo, D., Pappas, G. J. and Daniilidis, K., “Leader-Follower Formations: Uncalibrated Vision-Based Localization and Control,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Roma (April 2007) pp. 2403–2408.
16.Monteiro, S., Vaz, M., and Bicho, E., “Attractor Dynamics Generates Robot Formations: From Theory to Implementation,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, New Orleans, LA (April 2004) pp. 2582–2587.
17.Mut, V., Nasisi, O., Carelli, R., and Kuchen, B., “Tracking Adaptive Impedance Robot Control with Visual Feedback”, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Leuven, Belgium (May 1998) pp. 2002–2007.
18.Reyes, F. and Kelly, R., “On Parameter Identification of Robot Manipulator,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Albuquerque, New Mexico (April 1997) pp. 1910–1915.
19.Sciavicco, L. and Siciliano, B., Modelling and Control of Robot Manipulators (Springer, 2000).
20.Secchi, H., Carelli, R., and Mut, V., “An Experience on Stable Control of Mobile Robots”, Latin American Applied Research, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 33 (4), (October 2003) pp. 379386.
21.Slotine, J. -J. and Li, W., Applied Nonlinear Control (Prentice Hall Int., 1991).
22.Stilwell, D. J. and Bishop, B. E., “A Strategy for Controlling Autonomous Robot Platoons”, IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Sydney, Australia (December 2000) pp. 3483–3488.
23.Tan, K. H. and Lewis, M. A., “Virtual structures for high-precision cooperative mobile robotic control,” International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 1 (November 1996) pp. 132–139.
24.Vidyasagar, M., Nonlinear Systems Analysis (Prentice-Hall Int., New Jersey, 1993).
25.Yamaguchi, H., Arai, T. and Beni, G., “A distributed control scheme for multiple robotic vehicles to make group formations,” Robot. Auton. Sys. 36, 125147 (2001).
26.Zhang, Y., Hong, D., Chung, J. H. and Velinsky, S. A., “Dynamic Model Based Robust Tracking Control of a Differentially Steered Wheeled Mobile Robot,” Proceedings of the American Control Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (June 1998) pp. 850–855.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0263-5747
  • EISSN: 1469-8668
  • URL: /core/journals/robotica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed