Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots

A special issue of Machines (ISSN 2075-1702). This special issue belongs to the section "Automation and Control Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 10847

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas (CIMAT), Jalisco S-N, Guanajuato 36240, Mexico
Interests: control of multi-agent systems and multiple robots; visual servoing and visual navigation of aerial vehicles, humanoids and wheeled robots; control of robotic systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Instituto Tecnológico José Mario Molina Pasquel y Henríquez, Unidad Académica Zapopan, Zapopan 45019, Jal., Mexico
Interests: multi-robot systems; autonomous navigation; robust control

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Guest Editor
Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav), Unidad Saltillo, Av. Industrial Metalurgia #1062, Ramos Arizpe 25900, Coah., Mexico
Interests: modeling and control of nonlinear systems ;cooperation between mobile robots; control systems in greenhouses
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The motion control of one robot requires the design of efficient and robust control laws in order to achieve a desired performance. A recent trend in robotics is the use of multiple robots instead of a single one to solve certain tasks more efficiently. Several applications may benefit from the use of multiple robots, such as precision agriculture, greenhouse monitoring, service robotics, search and rescue, underwater and space exploration as well as the exploration of hazardous environments. However, the motion control of multiple robots has become an interesting and challenging problem from a control theory point of view, since controlling a multi-robot system involves communication and cooperation, and it is particularly challenging when the decisions are based on local information (i.e., only information from a subset of robots).

This Special Issue is dedicated to presenting research works where several robots have a global objective (task) and algorithmic solutions are proposed to control the motion of each robot such that a desired collaborative behavior is generated, mainly using local information that is shared among the robots.

We aim to provide a broad sampling of the research that is currently ongoing in the field of the motion control of multiple robots, for wheeled, underwater, aerial and humanoid robots in homogeneous or heterogeneous groups. The interest of this Special Issue is focused on scientists, researchers and students investigating multi-robot systems, but it may also be interesting to other readers involved in general in robotics and control theory.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas in the context of the control of multiple robots may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Control architectures and scalability.
  • Control of robots with motion constraints.
  • Advanced control design.
  • Optimal and optimization-based control.
  • Cooperative motion planning.
  • Formation control with collision avoidance.
  • Collaborative navigation.
  • Synchronization of AGVS.
  • Exploration with multiple robots.
  • Control of multiple robots for novel applications.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Hector M. Becerra
Dr. David Gómez-Gutiérrez
Prof. Dr. America Morales
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Machines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Consensus control
  • Flocking control
  • Formation control
  • Distributed control
  • Cooperative motion planning
  • Collaborative manipulation
  • Collaborative navigation
  • Distributed exploration

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 3510 KiB  
Article
Synchronization Control for a Mobile Manipulator Robot (MMR) System: A First Approach Using Trajectory Tracking Master–Slave Configuration
by Jorge Gustavo Pérez-Fuentevilla, América Berenice Morales-Díaz and Alejandro Rodríguez-Ángeles
Machines 2023, 11(10), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11100962 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1720
Abstract
In cooperative tasks, the ability to keep a kinematic relationship between the robots involved is essential. The main goal in this work is to design a synchronization control law for mobile manipulator robots (MMRs) considering a (2,0) differential mobile platform, which possesses a [...] Read more.
In cooperative tasks, the ability to keep a kinematic relationship between the robots involved is essential. The main goal in this work is to design a synchronization control law for mobile manipulator robots (MMRs) considering a (2,0) differential mobile platform, which possesses a non-holonomic motion constraint. To fulfill this purpose, a generalized trajectory tracking control law based on the computed torque technique, for an MMR with n degrees of freedom, is presented. Using Lyapunov stability theory, it is shown that the closed loop system is semiglobal and uniformly ultimately boundedness (UUB) stable. To add position-level static coupling terms to achieve synchronization on a group of MMRs, the control law designed for the trajectory tracking problem is extended. Both experimental and numerical simulation results are presented to show the designed controllers performance. A successful experimental validation for the trajectory tracking problem using an 8 degrees of freedom (DoF) robot model (KUKA youBot) is depicted. Finally, numerical simulations in the CoppeliaSim environment are shown, which are used to test the synchronization control law made on the hypothetical scenario, where a two robot system has to manipulate an object over a parametric trajectory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots)
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22 pages, 3959 KiB  
Article
Time-Varying Formation Tracking for Second Order Multi-Agent Systems: An Experimental Approach for Wheeled Robots
by Neftali J. Gonzalez-Yances, America B. Morales-Diaz and Héctor M. Becerra
Machines 2023, 11(8), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11080828 - 14 Aug 2023
Viewed by 722
Abstract
In this paper, a time-varying formation tracking protocol for second-order multi-sgent systems (MASs) is presented. The time-varying formation considers translation, rotation, and scaling of the geometric pattern that defines the formation. The control law is simple yet effective, and it is composed of [...] Read more.
In this paper, a time-varying formation tracking protocol for second-order multi-sgent systems (MASs) is presented. The time-varying formation considers translation, rotation, and scaling of the geometric pattern that defines the formation. The control law is simple yet effective, and it is composed of a trajectory tracking control and a consensus control that considers the position and velocity feedback of the connected agents in the MAS. The closed-loop system is asymptotically stable, and this was proved using the Gershgoring’s disk theorem. The performance of the protocol was extensively tested in experiments using a dynamic extension of the differential-drive robot model. The protocol was tested for different communication topologies and also dealt with switching topologies. The proposed protocol presented good performance regaring both time-varying formation and topology changes. Moreover, a comparison with an existing controller and with only trajectory tracking control has been provided, thus showing that the proposed protocol preserves the formation for all the tested topologies in a better way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots)
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20 pages, 2542 KiB  
Article
Scheme of Operation for Multi-Robot Systems with Decision-Making Based on Markov Chains for Manipulation by Caged Objects
by Daniel Arreguín-Jasso, Anand Sanchez-Orta and Hussain Alazki
Machines 2023, 11(4), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11040442 - 31 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1226
Abstract
This paper presents the design of a new control scheme for a group of omnidirectional robots in a multi-robot system operating in an environment with obstacles. The control scheme uses a decision agent based on discrete-time Markov chains and takes into account the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the design of a new control scheme for a group of omnidirectional robots in a multi-robot system operating in an environment with obstacles. The control scheme uses a decision agent based on discrete-time Markov chains and takes into account the state of the system, obstacle positions, and geometries to manipulate targets, providing robustness against measurement uncertainties. The decision process is dynamic, with state information updating at each time step and tasks being executed based on the hierarchy determined by quadratic hierarchical programming. The system’s stability in the mean-square sense is analyzed through the study of a closed-loop stochastic system, and the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme is demonstrated through numerical simulations, including a comparative analysis with a finite-state machine decision agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots)
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13 pages, 619 KiB  
Communication
Distributed Predefined-Time Optimization for Second-Order Systems under Detail-Balanced Graphs
by Pablo De Villeros, Juan Diego Sánchez-Torres, Aldo Jonathan Muñoz-Vázquez, Michael Defoort, Guillermo Fernández-Anaya and Alexander Loukianov
Machines 2023, 11(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11020299 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
This paper studies the problem of distributed predefined-time optimization for leaderless consensus of second-order multi-agent systems under a class of weighted digraphs. The proposed framework has two main steps. In the first step, the agents communicate to perform a consensus-based distributed predefined-time optimization [...] Read more.
This paper studies the problem of distributed predefined-time optimization for leaderless consensus of second-order multi-agent systems under a class of weighted digraphs. The proposed framework has two main steps. In the first step, the agents communicate to perform a consensus-based distributed predefined-time optimization and to generate a constant optimal output reference for each agent. In the second step, each agent tracks its corresponding optimal output reference, using a sliding-mode controller to reach the global optimum in a predefined time, even under matched disturbances. The proposed algorithm relies explicitly on user-defined constant parameters. Numerical simulations are performed to validate the efficacy of the algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots)
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18 pages, 1924 KiB  
Article
Formation Control for Second-Order Multi-Agent Systems with Collision Avoidance
by Juan Francisco Flores-Resendiz, David Avilés and Eduardo Aranda-Bricaire
Machines 2023, 11(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11020208 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
This paper deals with the formation control problem without collisions for second-order multi-agent systems. We propose a control strategy which consists of a bounded attractive component to ensure convergence to a specific geometrical pattern and a complementary repulsive component to guarantee collision-free rearrangement. [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the formation control problem without collisions for second-order multi-agent systems. We propose a control strategy which consists of a bounded attractive component to ensure convergence to a specific geometrical pattern and a complementary repulsive component to guarantee collision-free rearrangement. For convergence purposes, it is assumed that the communication graph contains at least a directed spanning tree. The avoidance complementary component is formed by applying repulsive vector fields with unstable focus structure. Using the well-known input-to-state stability property a control law for second-order agents is derived in a constructive manner starting from the first-order case. We consider that every agent is able to detect the presence of any other agent in the surrounding area and also can measure and share both position and velocity with his predefined set of neighbours. The resulting control law ensures the convergence to the desired geometrical pattern without collisions during the transient behaviour, as well as bounded velocities and accelerations. Numerical simulations are provided to show the performance and effectiveness of the proposed strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots)
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19 pages, 2594 KiB  
Article
Precise Dynamic Consensus under Event-Triggered Communication
by Irene Perez-Salesa, Rodrigo Aldana-Lopez and Carlos Sagues
Machines 2023, 11(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11020128 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
This work addresses the problem of dynamic consensus, which consists of estimating the dynamic average of a set of time-varying signals distributed across a communication network of multiple agents. This problem has many applications in robotics, with formation control and target tracking being [...] Read more.
This work addresses the problem of dynamic consensus, which consists of estimating the dynamic average of a set of time-varying signals distributed across a communication network of multiple agents. This problem has many applications in robotics, with formation control and target tracking being some of the most prominent ones. In this work, we propose a consensus algorithm to estimate the dynamic average in a distributed fashion, where discrete sampling and event-triggered communication are adopted to reduce the communication burden. Compared to other linear methods in the state of the art, our proposal can obtain exact convergence under continuous communication even when the dynamic average signal is persistently varying. Contrary to other sliding-mode approaches, our method reduces chattering in the discrete-time setting. The proposal is based on the discretization of established exact dynamic consensus results that use high-order sliding modes. The convergence of the protocol is verified through formal analysis, based on homogeneity properties, as well as through several numerical experiments. Concretely, we numerically show that an advantageous trade-off exists between the maximum steady-state consensus error and the communication rate. As a result, our proposal can outperform other state-of-the-art approaches, even when event-triggered communication is used in our protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots)
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21 pages, 16305 KiB  
Article
Formation Control of Mobile Robots Based on Pin Control of Complex Networks
by Jorge D. Rios, Daniel Ríos-Rivera, Jesus Hernandez-Barragan, Marco Pérez-Cisneros and Alma Y. Alanis
Machines 2022, 10(10), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines10100898 - 06 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1822
Abstract
Robot formation control has several advantages that make it interesting for research. Multiple works have been published in the literature using different control approaches. This work presents the control of different groups of robots to achieve a desired formation based on pinning control [...] Read more.
Robot formation control has several advantages that make it interesting for research. Multiple works have been published in the literature using different control approaches. This work presents the control of different groups of robots to achieve a desired formation based on pinning control of complex networks and coordinate translation. The implemented control law comprises complex network bounding, proportional, and collision avoidance terms. The tests for this proposal were performed via simulation and experimental tests, considering different networks of differential robots. The selected robots are Turtlebot3® Waffle Pi robots. The Turtlebot3® Waffle Pi is a differential mobile robot with the Robot Operating System (ROS). It has a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensor used to compute the collision avoidance control law term. Tests show favorable results on different formations testing on various groups of robots, each composed of a different number of robots. From this work, implementation on other devices can be derived, as well as trajectory tracking once in formation, among other applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Control of Multiple Robots)
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