Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area


Date of this Version

June 2002


Postprint version. Published in Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems 5, Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems 2002 (DARS 2002).
Publisher URL:,11855,1-185-72-2295068-0,00.html


We address the manipulation of planar objects by multiple cooperating mobile robots using the concept of Object Closure. In contrast to Form or Force Closure, Object Closure is a condition under which the object is trapped so that there is no feasible path for the object from the given position to any position that is beyond a specified threshold distance. Once Object Closure is achieved, the robots can cooperatively drag or flow the trapped object to the desired goal. In this paper, we define object closure and develop a set of decentralized algorithms that allow the robots to achieve and maintain object closure. We show how simple, first-order, potential field based controllers can be used to implement multirobot manipulation tasks.


distributed robotics, group behaviors, multi-robot cooperation, multi-robot systems, robot soccer



Date Posted: 13 August 2005

This document has been peer reviewed.