Controlling rigid formations of mobile agents under inconsistent measurements

Hector Garcia de Marina Peinado, Ming Cao, Bayu Jayawardhana

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—Despite the great success of using gradient-based controllers to stabilize rigid formations of autonomous agents in the past years, surprising yet intriguing undesirable collective motions have been reported recently, when inconsistent measurements are used in the agents’ local controllers. To make the existing gradient control robust against such measurement inconsistency, we exploit local estimators following the well-known internal model principle for robust output regulation control. The new estimator-based gradient control is still distributed in nature, and can be constructed systematically even when the number of agents in a rigid formation grows. We prove rigorously that the proposed control is able to guarantee exponential convergence, and then demonstrate through robotic experiments and computer simulations that the reported inconsistency-induced orbits of collective movements are effectively eliminated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
JournalIEEE Transaction on Robotics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2015


  • Distributed calibration, distributed control, formation control

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