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The cluster space state representation of mobile multirobot systems is introduced as a means of enabling enhanced control of mobile multirobot systems. A conceptual framework is proposed for the selection of appropriate cluster space state variables for an n-robot system, the development of formal kinematics that associate the cluster space state variables with robot-specific variables, and the implementation of a cluster space control system architecture. The cluster space approach is then demonstrated for examples of two- and three-robot clusters consisting of differential drive robots operating in a plane. In these examples, we demonstrate cluster space variable selection, review the critical kinematic relationships, and present experimental results that demonstrate the ability of the systems to meet control specifications while allowing a single operator to easily specify and supervise the motion of the clusters.
Date of Publication: April 2009