Bearing rigidity and formation stabilization for multiple rigid bodies in SE(3)

Liangming Chen*, Ming Cao, Chuanjiang Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this work, we first distinguish different notions related to bearing rigidity in graph theory and then further investigate the formation stabilization problem for multiple rigid bodies. Different from many previous works on formation control using bearing rigidity, we do not require the use of a shared global coordinate system, which is enabled by extending bearing rigidity theory to multi-agent frameworks embedded in the three dimensional special Euclidean group SE(3) and expressing the needed bearing information in each agent's local coordinate system. Here, each agent is modeled by a rigid body with 3 DOFs in translation and 3 DOFs in rotation. One key step in our approach is to define the bearing rigidity matrix in SE(3) and construct the necessary and sufficient conditions for infinitesimal bearing rigidity. In the end, a gradient-based bearing formation control algorithm is proposed to stabilize formations of multiple rigid bodies in SE(3).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalNumerical algebra control and optimization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2019


  • Bearing rigidity
  • formation stabilization
  • SE(3)

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