Skip to Main Content
This paper proposes control schemes for a group of nonholonomic kinematic mobile robots for maintaining a desired formation along a time-parameterized path. The control approach is based in particular on the flatness property and the concept of virtual vehicles. The control objective is twofold: to maintain the formation structure during motion along a desired geometric path, and to follow a timing law that dominates the rate of advancement of the group and the arrival times to assigned sites. This paper suggests, in particular, control strategies for convoy-like vehicles and for rigid formations. The leading vehicle governs the overall group motion. However, each member of the group can independently split or merge and maneuver to avoid collision (assuming that the relevant data are available by communication/sensing means) during the group motion.
Date of Publication: April 2012