Multi-Level Formation Roadmaps for Collision-Free Dynamic Shape Changes with Non-holonomic Teams

TitleMulti-Level Formation Roadmaps for Collision-Free Dynamic Shape Changes with Non-holonomic Teams
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKrontiris, A, Louis, S, Bekris, KE
Conference NameIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA - 2012)
Date Published05/2012
Conference LocationMinnesota, MN

Teams of robots can utilize formations to accom- plish a task, such as maximizing the observability of an environ- ment while maintaining connectivity. In a cluttered space, how- ever, it might be necessary to automatically change formation to avoid obstacles. This work proposes a path planning approach for non-holonomic robots, where a team dynamically switches formations to reach a goal without collisions. The method introduces a multi-level graph, which can be constructed offline. Each level corresponds to a different formation and edges between levels allow for formation transitions. All edges satisfy curvature bounds and clearance requirements from obstacles. During the online phase, the method returns a path for a virtual leader, as well as the points along the path where the team should switch formations. Individual agents can compute their controls using kinematic formation controllers that operate in curvilinear coordinates. The approach guarantees that it is feasible for the agents to follow the trajectory returned. Simulations show that the online cost of the approach is small. The method returns solutions that maximize the maintenance of a desired formation while allowing the team to rearrange its configuration in the presence of obstacles.

Refereed DesignationRefereed