Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Subject Area


Date of this Version

February 2002


Copyright 2002 IEEE. Reprinted from IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Volume 18, Number 1, February 2002, pages 94-103.
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We describe a framework and control algorithms for coordinating multiple mobile robots with manipulators focusing on tasks that require grasping, manipulation and transporting large and possibly flexible objects without special purpose fixtures. Because each robot has an independent controller and is autonomous, the coordination and synergy are realized through sensing and communication. The robots can cooperatively transport objects and march in a tightly controlled formation, while also having the capability to navigate autonomously. We describe the key aspects of the overall hierarchy and the basic algorithms, with specific applications to our experimental testbed consisting of three robots. We describe results from many experiments that demonstrate the ability of the system to carry flexible boards and large boxes as well as the system’s robustness to alignment and odometry errors.


Compliance, locomotion and grasping, mobile robot cooperation



Date Posted: 15 November 2004

This document has been peer reviewed.