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Flocking for multi-robot systems via the Null-Space-based Behavioral control

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Abstract

Flocking is the way in which populations of animals like birds, fishes, and insects move together. In such cases, the global behavior of the team emerges as a consequence of local interactions among the neighboring members. This paper approaches the problem of letting a group of robots flock by resorting to a behavior-based control architecture, namely Null-Space-based Behavioral (NSB) control. Following such a control architecture, very simple behaviors for each robot are defined and properly arranged in priority in order to achieve the assigned mission. In particular, flocking is performed in a decentralized manner, that is, the behaviors of each robot only depend on local information concerning the robot’s neighbors. In this paper, the flocking behavior is analyzed in a variety of conditions: with or without a moving rendez-vous point, in a two- or three-dimensional space and in presence of obstacles. Extensive simulations and experiments performed with a team of differential-drive mobile robots show the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

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Correspondence to Gianluca Antonelli.

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Antonelli, G., Arrichiello, F. & Chiaverini, S. Flocking for multi-robot systems via the Null-Space-based Behavioral control. Swarm Intell 4, 37 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11721-009-0036-6

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Keywords

  • Flocking
  • Multiple mobile robots
  • Behavioral control