Design and Implementation of a Range-Based Formation Controller for Marine Robots
There is considerable worldwide interest in the use of groups of autonomous marine vehicles to carry our challenging mission scenarios, of which marine habitat mapping of complex, non-structured environments is a representative example. Relative positioning and formation control becomes mandatory in many of the missions envisioned, which require the concerted operation of multiple marine vehicles carrying distinct, yet complementary sensor suites. However, the constraints placed by the underwater medium make it hard to both communicate and localise the vehicles, even in relation to each other, let alone maintain them in a formation. As a contribution to overcoming some of these problems, this paper deals with the problem of keeping an autonomous marine vehicle in a moving triangular formation with respect to two leader vehicles. Simple feedback laws are derived to drive a controlled vehicle to its intended position in the formation using acoustic ranges obtained to the leading vehicles with no knowledge of the formation path. The paper discusses the implementation of this solution in the MEDUSA class of autonomous marine vehicles operated by IST and describes the results of trials with these vehicles exchanging information and ranges over an acoustic network.
KeywordsFormation Control Underwater Vehicle Triangular Formation Mode Error Leader Vehicle
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Soares, J.M., Aguiar, A.P., Pascoal, A.M.: Triangular formation control using range measurements: an application to marine robotic vehicles. In: IFAC Workshop on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles (NGCUV 2012), Porto, Portugal (2012)Google Scholar
- 2.Soares, J.M., Aguiar, A.P., Pascoal, A., Martinoli, A.: Joint ASV/AUV Range-Based Formation Control: Theory and Experimental Results. In: 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Karlsruhe, Germany (2013)Google Scholar
- 4.Falconi, R., Gowal, S., Martinoli, A.: Graph-based distributed control of non-holonomic vehicles endowed with local positioning information engaged in escorting missions. In: 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, pp. 3207–3214. IEEE (May 2010)Google Scholar
- 8.Bishop, A.N.: A Very Relaxed Control Law for Bearing-Only Triangular Formation Control. In: Proceedings of the 18th IFAC World Congress, Milano, Italy, pp. 5991–5998 (August 2011)Google Scholar
- 11.Yang, H., Zhang, F.: Geometric formation control for autonomous underwater vehicles. In: 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, pp. 4288–4293. IEEE (May 2010)Google Scholar
- 15.Ribeiro, J.: Motion Control of Single and Multiple Autonomous Marine Vehicles. Master’s thesis, Instituto Superior Técnico - Technical University of Lisbon (2011)Google Scholar