Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1091–1102 | Cite as

Virtual spring damper method for nonholonomic robotic swarm self-organization and leader following

  • Jakub Wiech
  • Victor A. EremeyevEmail author
  • Ivan Giorgio
Open Access
Original Article


In this paper, we demonstrate a method for self-organization and leader following of nonholonomic robotic swarm based on spring damper mesh. By self-organization of swarm robots we mean the emergence of order in a swarm as the result of interactions among the single robots. In other words the self-organization of swarm robots mimics some natural behavior of social animals like ants among others. The dynamics of two-wheel robot is derived, and a relation between virtual forces and robot control inputs is defined in order to establish stable swarm formation. Two cases of swarm control are analyzed. In the first case the swarm cohesion is achieved by virtual spring damper mesh connecting nearest neighboring robots without designated leader. In the second case we introduce a swarm leader interacting with nearest and second neighbors allowing the swarm to follow the leader. The paper ends with numeric simulation for performance evaluation of the proposed control method.


Swarm robots Swarm self-organization Nonholonomic robots Leader following Virtual spring damper mesh 



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© The Author(s) 2018

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and AeronauticsPolitechnika Rzeszowska im. Ignacego ŁukasiewiczaRzeszówPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Civil and Environmental EngineeringGdańsk University of TechnologyGdańskPoland
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of Rome La SapienzaRomeItaly

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