Distributed Entrapping Control of Multi-Agent Systems Using Bearing Measurements

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

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Publication statusOnline published - 23 Dec 2020


This paper studies the distributed entrapping control problem of multiple mobile agents based on bearing and velocity measurements. A time-varying entrapping formation with a prescribed shape, which is elastic and rotational with respect to the target is adopted. Such a formation allows agents to move even in restricted areas while still entrapping the target as a whole. To achieve the entrapping formation based on bearing measurements, a leader-follower structure is adopted, and a design framework integrating formation shape observers, relative position estimators and distributed controllers is proposed. The rigorous stability analysis of the overall system is also given. It is shown that the stability of the closed loop system is guaranteed if its bearing observability is satisfied. Since the desired formation is determined by the trajectories of the leaders, we characterize the sufficient conditions on the trajectories of the leaders such that the bearing observability of the closed loop system is always satisfied, and the estimation errors and the formation tracking errors converge to zero asymptotically. Simulations verify the effectiveness of the proposed framework.

Research Area(s)

  • Bearing measurements, bearing observability, distributed control, Multi-agent systems, Observability, Observers, Robot sensing systems, Sensors, Shape, target entrapping, time-varying formation control, Trajectory