Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area


Date of this Version

September 2004


Postprint version. Published in Proceedings of the 2004 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference (DETC 2004), 28th Biennial Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Volume 2A, pages 13-22.


In this paper, we consider the problem of cooperatively localizing a formation of networked robots/vehicles in SE(2). First, we propose necessary and sufficient conditions to establish when a team of robots with heterogeneous sensors can be localized. We then show how these conditions are analogous to well-known results in the literature on kinematics of planar mechanisms. We show how localization is equivalent to solving a system of nonlinear closure equations. Depending on what sensors are available for each robot, the multirobot formation can be modeled as a sensing graph consisting of vertices representing robots and edges corresponding to sensory information. We establish conditions that must be satisfied by this graph and show how this graph influences estimates of positions and orientations of the robots in a team through experiments and simulations.



Date Posted: 09 November 2005