Port-Hamiltonian approach to deployment on a line

Ewoud Vos, Jacquelien M.A. Scherpen, Abraham van der Schaft

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


In this talk we present a port-Hamiltonian approach to the
deployment on a line of a robotic sensor network (see e.g.
[3] for related work). Using the port-Hamiltonian modelling
framework has some clear benefits. Including physical interpretation
of the model, insight in the system’s energy and
structure, scalability, and use of the Hamiltonian for stability
analysis. A concise overview of port-Hamiltonian systems
theory can be found in [2].
Deployment on a line fits within the broader context of using
robotic sensors networks for (autonomous) inspection of
dikes. The aim of the autonomous dike inspection is to make
a group (swarm) of robotic sensor move along the surface of
the dike, while monitoring it with e.g. ground penetration
radars (GPR).
The ideas in this talk are inspired by [1], who uses a passivity
based-approach for coordination. It is well known that
there is a strong link between port-Hamiltonian systems and
passivity, which can be used in the stability analysis of the
In this talk we’ll look at a network of N robots, which are
modelled as fully actuated point masses. The interaction
among the robots is represented by a graph G. The robots
correspond to the vertices of the graph. The M edges of the
graph correspond to virtual couplings [4], which are virtual
springs and dampers. The dynamics of the interconnected
system [4] are given by

vc = −B
T ∂H
∂ p
p˙ = B
vc −

r +BDvcB

∂ p
where q
, p, B, H, D
, and D
vc denote respectively the
relative distances, momenta, incidence matrix of graph
G, Hamiltonian, robots dissipation matrix, and the virtual
dampers dissipation matrix.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27-Mar-2012
Event31th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control - Hijen/Nijmegen, Netherlands
Duration: 27-Mar-201229-Mar-2012


Conference31th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control


  • Port-Hamiltonian
  • deployment
  • line

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