Title: Behaviour based planning and control of leader follower formations in wheeled mobile robots

Authors: R.M. Kuppan Chetty, M. Singaperumal, T. Nagarajan

Addresses: Precision Engineering and Instrumentation Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai – 600036, Tamilnadu, India. ' Precision Engineering and Instrumentation Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai – 600036, Tamilnadu, India. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia

Abstract: This paper describes the development of a distributed planning and control strategy for multiple mobile robots in a leader-follower formation framework, which combines together formation planning, navigation and active obstacle avoidance. A layered formation control architecture consisting of functional behaviours based on the relative motion states of the robots, classified into two levels is developed. The supervisor level in the framework handles the higher-level missions such as formation and inter-robot communication, and the lower level deals with the dynamic control of robots during navigation. Dynamic role switching mechanism through the exchange of leadership is incorporated in this work to tackle the problem of obstacle avoidance in the follower path. A state based modelling framework, where the functional behaviours/motion states of the layered approach are modelled using the augmented finite state machine (AFSM) concept, is also presented in this paper. The proposed approach is validated through state based simulations via Simulink/Stateflow environment and experiments using commercially available robot research platforms and the results obtained are discussed.

Keywords: formation control; obstacle avoidance; nonholonomic systems; multiple mobile robots; behaviour-based control; state based modelling; mechatronic systems; robot control; multi-robot systems; wheeled robots; leader-follower formations; robot navigation; distributed planning; distributed control; finite state machines; AFSM; augmented FSM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMECHS.2010.033599

International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems, 2010 Vol.2 No.4, pp.281 - 296

Available online: 07 Jun 2010 *

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