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This paper describes a leader-follower based formation control framework to coordinate multiple nonholonomic mobile robots. The proposed strategy deploys a control theoretic bottom-up approach where, continuous controllers are coordinated by a supervisory controlled discrete event system. All the mobile robots are required to navigate in an obstacle populated environment. And the followers keep a predetermined geometric formation with the leader while being adaptable to the constraints imposed by obstacles on the environment. The low level control is achieved by a set of behavior based controller with a high-level discrete event system that manages the dynamic interaction with the external environment. The use of discrete event systems reflects a modular manageable system with the potential for scalability and reusability. The proposed system is implemented through simulation and the results are shown to verify its operation.
Date of Conference: 10-15 Oct. 2009