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This paper presents a motion-planning approach for coordinating multiple mobile robots in moving along specified paths. The robots are required to fulfill formation requirements while meeting velocity/acceleration constraints and avoiding collisions. Coordination is achieved by planning robot velocities along the paths through a velocity-optimization process. An objective function for minimizing formation errors is established and solved by a linear interactive and general optimizer. Motion planning can be further adjusted online to address emergent demands such as avoiding suddenly appearing obstacles. Simulations and experiments are performed on a group of mobile robots to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed coordinated motion planning in multirobot formations.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2011