Autonomous Robots

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 245–265

Decentralized multi-robot encirclement of a 3D target with guaranteed collision avoidance



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.


Distributed robot systems Motion control Multi-robot decentralized control Encirclement Escorting  Entrapment 

Supplementary material

10514_2015_9450_MOESM1_ESM.mp4 (20.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (mp4 20540 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Franchi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paolo Stegagno
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Oriolo
    • 4
  1. 1.CNRS, LAASToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Univ de Toulouse, LAASToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for Biological CyberneticsTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e GestionaleSapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly

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