Decentralized multi-robot encirclement of a 3D target with guaranteed collision avoidance
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We present a control framework for achieving encirclement of a target moving in 3D using a multi-robot system. Three variations of a basic control strategy are proposed for different versions of the encirclement problem, and their effectiveness is formally established. An extension ensuring maintenance of a safe inter-robot distance is also discussed. The proposed framework is fully decentralized and only requires local communication among robots; in particular, each robot locally estimates all the relevant global quantities. We validate the proposed strategy through simulations on kinematic point robots and quadrotor UAVs, as well as experiments on differential-drive wheeled mobile robots.