Decentralized Cooperative Object Transportation by Multiple Mobile Robots with a Pushing Leader

  • ZhiDong Wang
  • Yugo Takano
  • Yasuhisa Hirata
  • Kazuhiro Kosuge


We address a decentralized control method for object transportation in coordination by a leader-follower type multiple robot system. The proposed system consists of a pushing leader, a robot without grasping mechanisms, and multiple follower robots. During the object transportation, a desired trajectory is given to the leader robot only, and follower robots estimate the trajectory of the leader based on force/moment from the object. In the proposed system, a variable internal force is introduced to each robot’s controller in decentralized style to let the follower’s estimator work on not only the pushing but also the “pulling” case that the leader needs to slow down or stop the object. Finally, a robot system including three omnidirectional mobile robots is presented and an experiment result is shown to illustrate the concept of the proposed control algorithm.


Mobile Robot Robot System Robot Team Multiple Mobile Robot Follower Robot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ahmadabadi M.N. and Nakano E., A constrain and move approach to distributed object manipulation protocols, IEEE Transaction on Robotics and Automation, 17(2), pp.157–172, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ahmadabadi M.N., Rushan S.M., Wang Z.D., Nakano E., A Constrain-Move based distributed cooperation strategy for four object lifting robots, IROS2000, pp.2030–2035, 2000.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Asama H., Matsumoto A., and Ishida T., Design of an Autonomous and Distributed Robot System, IROS1989, pp.283–290, 1989.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bicchi, A., and Kumar, V., Robotic Grasping and Contact, ICRA2000, pp.348–353, 2000.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brown R.G. and Jennings J.S., A Pusher/Steerer Model for Strongly Cooperative Mobile Robot Manipulation, IROS1995, pp.562–568, 1995.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Donald B.R., Jenning J. and Rus D., Information invariants for distributed manipulation, Int. Journal of Robotics Research, 16(5), pp.673–702, 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hirata Y., Kosuge K., et al., Coordinated Transportation of a Single Object by Multiple Mobile Robots without Position Information of Each Robot IROS2000, pp.2024–2029, 2000.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hirata Y., Kakagi T., et al., Manipulation of a Large Object by Multiple DR Helpers in Cooperation with a Human IROS2001, pp.126–131, 2001.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hirata Y., Kume Y., Wang Z.D., and Kosuge K., Decentralized Control of Multiple Mobile Manipulators Based on Virtual 3-D Caster Motion of Handling an Object In Cooperation with a Human ICRA2003, pp.938–943, 2003.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hirata Y., Kume Y., et al., Handling of an Object by Multiple Mobile Manipulators in Coordination bas ed on Caster-like Dynamics, ICRA2004, 2004.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Johnson P.J. and Bay J.S., Distributed Control of Simulated Autonomous Mobile Robot Collectives in Payload Transportation, Autonomous Robots, 2(1), pp.43–63, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Khatib O., Yokoi K., and et al., Vehicle/Arm Coordination and Multiple Mobile Manipulator Decentralized Cooperation, IROS1996, pp 546–553, 1996.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kimura H., and Wang Z.D., Huge-Object Manipulation in Space by Vehicle-Type Robots, JSME Int. Journal, Series C., 38(3), pp. 543–551, 1995.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Koga M., Kosuge K., Furuta K., and Nosaki K., Coordinated motion control of robot arms based on the virtual internal model, IEEE Trans, on Robotics and Automation, Vol.1, No.1, pp. 77–85, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    K. Kosuge, T. Oosumi, Decentralized Control of Multiple Robots Handling an Object, IROS1996, pp.318–323, 1996.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kume Y., Hirata Y., Wang Z.D., and Kosuge K., Decentralized Control of Multiple Mobile Manipulators Handling a Single Object in Coordination, IROS2002, pp.2758–2763, 2002.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lynch K.M. and Mason M.T., Stable Pushing: Mechanics, Controllability, and Planning, Int. J. Robotics Research, 16(6), pp.533–556, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lynch K.M. and Mason M.T., Dynamic nonprehensile manipulation: Controllability, planning, and experiments, Int.J.Robotics Research, 18(1), pp.64–92,1999.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kube C.R. and Zhang H., Task Modelling in Collective Robotics, Autonomous Robots, 4(1), pp 53–72, 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nakamura Y., Nagai K., Yoshikawa T., Dynamics and Stability in Coordination of Multiple Robotic Mechanisms, Int.J.Robotics Research, 8(2),pp.44–61,1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mataric M.J., Nilsson M., and Simsarian K.T., Cooperative Multi-Robot Box-Pushing, IROS95, pp.556–561, 1995.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ota J., Miyata N., Arai T., and, Transferring and Regrasping a Large Object by Cooperation of Multiple Mobile Robots, IROS95, pp.543–548, 1995.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Parker L. E., ALLIANCE: an architecture for fault tolerant multirobot cooperation, IEEE Tran. on Robotics and Automation, 14(2), pp.220–240, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rimon E. and Burdick J.W., Mobility of Bodies in Contact-I: A New 2 nd Order Mobility Index for Multiple-Finger Grasp. IEEE Trans. Robotics and Automation, 14(5) pp.696–708, 1998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sudsang A., Rothganger F., and Ponce J., Motion planning for disc-shaped robots pushing a polygonal object in the pl ane, IEEE Tran. on Robotics and Automation, 18(4). pp.550–562, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sugar T., and Kumar V., Multiple Cooperating Mobile Manipulators, ICRA99, pp. 1538–1543, 1999.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Takeda H., Hirata Y., Wang Z.D., and Kosuge K., Collision Avoidance Algorithm for Multiple Tracked Mobile Robots Transporting a Single Object in Coordination Based on Function Allocation Concept, DARS 5, pp. 155–164, 2002.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Uchiyama M. and Dauchez P., A symmetric hybrid position/force control scheme for the coordination of two robots, ICRA88, pp.350–355, 1988.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wang Z.D., Nakano E., and Matsukawa T., A New Approach to Multiple Robots’ Behavior Design for Cooperative Object Manipulation, DARS 2, pp.350–361, 1996.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wang Z.D., Nakano E. and Takahashi T., Solving Function Distribution and Behavior Design Problem for Cooperative Object Handling by Multiple Mobile Robots IEEE Tran.on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics A, 33(5), pp.537–549, 2003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wang Z.D. and Kumar V., A Decentralized Test Algorithm for Object Closure by Multiple Cooperating Mobile Robots, DARS 5, pp. 165–174, 2002.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wang Z.D., Kumar V., Hirata Y., and Kosuge K., A Strategy and a Fast Testing Algorithm for Object Caging by Multiple Cooperative Robots, ICRA 2003, pp.938–943, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • ZhiDong Wang
    • 1
  • Yugo Takano
    • 1
  • Yasuhisa Hirata
    • 1
  • Kazuhiro Kosuge
    • 1
  1. 1.System Robotics Lab., Graduate School of Eng.Tohoku Univ.SendaiJAPAN

Personalised recommendations