Multi-robot assignment and formation control
Macdonald, Edward A.
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Our research focuses on one of the more fundamental issues in multi-agent, mobile robotics: the formation control problem. The idea is to create controllers that cause robots to move into a predefined formation shape. This is a well studied problem for the scenario in which the robots know in advance to which point in the formation they are assigned. In our case, we assume this information is not given in advance, but must be determined dynamically. This thesis presents an algorithm that can be used by a network of mobile robots to simultaneously determine efficient robot assignments and formation pose for rotationally and translationally invariant formations. This allows simultaneous role assignment and formation sysnthesis without the need for additional control laws. The thesis begins by introducing some general concepts regarding multi-agent robotics. Next, previous work and background information specific to the formation control and assignment problems are reviewed. Then the proposed assignment al- gorithm for role assignment and formation control is introduced and its theoretical properties are examined. This is followed by a discussion of simulation results. Lastly, experimental results are presented based on the implementation of the assignment al- gorithm on actual robots.