Automatic Generation of Persistent Formations for Multi-Agent Networks Under Range Constraints
Smith, Brian Stephen
Egerstedt, Magnus B.
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In this paper we present a collection of graphbased methods for determining if a team of mobile robots, subjected to sensor and communication range constraints, can persistently achieve a specified formation. What we mean by this is that the formation, once achieved, will be preserved by the direct maintenance of the smallest subset of all possible pairwise interagent distances. In this context, formations are defined by sets of points separated by distances corresponding to desired inter-agent distances. Further, we provide graph operations to describe agent interactions that implement a given formation, as well as an algorithm that, given a persistent formation, automatically generates a sequence of such operations. Experimental results are presented that illustrate the operation of the proposed methods on real robot platforms.