Distributed Geodesic Control Laws for Flocking of Nonholonomic Agents
General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Laboratory
Electrical and Computer Engineering
We study the problem of flocking and coordination of a group of kinematic nonholonomic agents in 2 and 3 dimensions. By analyzing the velocity vectors of agents on a circle (for planar motion) or sphere (for 3D motion), we develop geodesic control laws that minimize a misalignment potential based on graph Laplacians resulting in velocity alignment. The proposed control laws are distributed and will provably result in flocking when the underlying proximity graph which represents the neighborhood relation among agents is connected. Furthermore, we develop a vision based control law that does not rely on heading measurements, but only requires measurement of bearing, optical flow and time-to-collision, all of which can be efficiently measured.