Press/Media items

An Inside View: Discrete Technology & Production Automation

Press/Media: ResearchPopular

01/02/2015

For the past few decades, robots have evolved from the mundane industrial robots in factories to the challenging robotic applications at home and at work, from executing pre-programmed repetitive tasks to deciding multiple different tasks autonomously, from the classical manipulator arms to the biologically-inspired robots, and from an independent robot to the smart cooperative robots. Contributing to this evolution, our research group has been developing advanced control methods for solving various robotic problems associated to novel applications, such as, robots for healthy ageing population and cooperative robots in maritime technology. 

In this ‘inside view’, we discuss our recent results on the design of a robust formation control law for mobile robots. Here, the formation refers to a polygonal or polyhedral geometric shape where the robots are represented by the vertices. In order to achieve the desired formation, each robot has to maintain a prescribed distance to its neighbours. The deployment of robots in formations is used, for example, to sample unknown environment, to optimally cover a geographical region or to achieve better cooperation efficiency. Several relevant applications are the formation of underwa- ter robots and of autonomous road vehicles. 

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