Nonsingular formation control of cooperative mobile robots via feedback linearization

Erfu Yang, Dongbing Gu, Huosheng Hu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the control of a leader-follower formation where the leader robot has its own target and the follower robots are constrained by the specified formation tasks. The dynamics of the leader robot with nonholonomic constraint is explicitly integrated into the formation system to yield a centralized coordinating controller. As a result there is no need to assume the motion of the leader separatively when we develop cooperative formation controllers for coordinating the robots. The feedback linearization is used to deal with the nonlinear formation control of a team of autonomous mobile robots with nonholonomic constraints. Although the nonlinear formation system under consideration can be exactly linearized by taking advantage of dynamic feedback linearization, there exists structural singularity which may pose serious problems in practice. To solve this singular problem a new formation model for controlling the leader-follower formation in a cooperative manner is developed. This new formation model can be extended to studying other control and learning issues in multi-robot systems for both cooperation and noncooperation. The internal dynamics is derived and proven to be globally stable under the stable linear controller obtained via the partially linearized dynamics. To demonstrate the performance of the developed formation controller, simulation results are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2005 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780780389120
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005
EventIEEE IRS/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2005 - Edmonton, AB, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Aug 20056 Aug 2005


ConferenceIEEE IRS/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityEdmonton, AB


  • autonomous mobile robots
  • cooperative control
  • feedback linearization
  • leader-follower formation
  • multi-robot systems
  • centralised control
  • constraint handling
  • cooperative systems
  • motion control

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