Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we present a synchronization approach to trajectory tracking of multiple mobile robots while maintaining time-varying formations. The main idea is to control each robot to track its desired trajectory while synchronizing its motion with those of other robots to keep relative kinematics relationships, as required by the formation. First, we pose the formation-control problem as a synchronization control problem and identify the synchronization control goal according to the formation requirement. The formation error is measured by the position synchronization error, which is defined based on the established robot network. Second, we develop a synchronous controller for each robot's translation to guarantee that both position and synchronization errors approach zero asymptotically. The rotary controller is also designed to ensure that the robot is always oriented toward its desired position. Both translational and rotary controls are supported by a centralized high-level planer for task monitoring and robot global localization. Finally, we perform simulations and experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed synchronization control approach in the formation control tasks.