Formation control driven by cooperative object tracking
; Ahmad , A. Ahmad
; Dias, A. Dias
; Conceição , André G.S. Conceição
; Moreira , A. Moreira
; Silva, E. Silva
; Oliveira, L.
; Nascimento, Tiago P. Nascimento
Robotics and Autonomous Systems Vol. 63, Nº 1, pp. 68 - 79, January, 2015.
ISSN (print): 0921-8890
Journal Impact Factor: 1,256 (in 2015)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.robot.2014.08.018
In this paper we introduce a formation control loop that maximizes the performance of the cooperative perception of a tracked target by a team of mobile robots, while maintaining the team in formation, with a dynamically adjustable geometry which is a function of the quality of the target perception by the team. In the formation control loop, the controller module is a distributed non-linear model predictive controller and the estimator module fuses local estimates of the target state, obtained by a particle filter at each robot. The two modules and their integration are described in detail, including a real-time database associated to a wireless communication protocol that facilitates the exchange of state data while reducing collisions among team members. Simulation and real robot results for indoor and outdoor teams of different robots are presented. The results highlight how our method successfully enables a team of homogeneous robots to minimize the total uncertainty of the tracked target cooperative estimate while complying with performance criteria such as keeping a pre-set distance between the teammates and the target, avoiding collisions with teammates and/or surrounding obstacles.