Leader-follower formation control of nonholonomic mobile robots with bearing-only measurements

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1628-1643
Number of pages16
Journal / PublicationJournal of the Franklin Institute
Issue number3
Online published13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


This paper investigates the leader-follower formation control problem of nonholonomic vehicles. An estimator is first developed to estimate the relative position in its local coordinate system with bearing measurements, to avoid directly using positions or relative positions in the global reference frame. A control law is then proposed for the follower vehicle to follow the leader based on the estimated relative position. It is shown that the estimation error converges to zero, if some conditions on the relative angular velocity between the leader and the follower are satisfied. It is also shown that the stability of the closed loop system involving both the estimator and the controller is guaranteed if some mild conditions on the trajectory of the leader are satisfied. Extension to the case of multiple followers is also considered. Simulation results of numerical examples verify the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme.