Distributed Cooperative Control of Multiple Vehicle Formations Using Structural Potential Functions

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Reza Olfati-Saber and Richard M. Murray
2002 IFAC World Congress

In this paper, we propose a framework for formation stabilization of multiple autonomous vehicles in a distributed fashion. Each vehicle is assumed to have simple dynamics, i.e. a double-integrator, with a directed (or an undirected) information ow over the formation graph of the vehicles. Our goal is to find a distributed control law (with an efficient computational cost) for each vehicle that makes use of limited information regarding the state of other vehicles. Here, the key idea in formation stabilization is the use of natural potential functions obtained from structural constraints of a desired formation in a way that leads to a collision-free, distributed, and bounded state feedback law for each vehicle.