Simulation & Formation Control for Leader- Follower Wheeled Mobile Robots Based on Embedded Control Technique




Jayasingha Appuhamilage, Chathusanka

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Formation control has garnered significant attention from researchers in recent times. This heightened interest can be attributed to its applicability in a wide range of tasks, including but not limited to search and rescue operations, agricultural coverage jobs, and area patrols. This surge in attention is primarily attributed to its ability to enhance efficiency, reliability, and the capacity to accomplish complex tasks effectively within these domains. Formation control for ground vehicles has particularly been useful for application such as cargo transportation, cooperative manipulation, and surveillance and exploration and many more [2]. Combining sensors on robots in a formation enables them to scan larger areas more quickly by directing sensors in different directions, surpassing the smaller area of coverage of a single robot can achieve during the same time. This enhances the efficiency of the search and exploration process compared to individual robot operations. For this project, a formation control strategy based on the embedded control technique for a leader-follower system was used. The proposed technique divides the formation control problem into two subtasks, which is different from the traditional design philosophy of basing the formation controller design directly on the formation tracking errors [3]. Two subtasks are virtual signal generator and trajectory tracking controller. The virtual signal generator achieves the desired formation control goal and outputs a reference signal to the trajectory tracking controller of the follower [3]. The embedded control technique reduces the complexity of directly implementing formation tracking errors while providing several other benefits as well. A predesigned mobile robot model in CoppeliaSim was used as the leader and follower. The robots were programmed to implement the controller and simulate the system. Finally, a number of tests were performed adjusting gains and observing the performance of the robots to identify the optimal performance gain values. Gains were adjusted with the goal of minimizing the error and reducing the motion jerk of the follower.



Controls, Embedded control technique, Formation control, Leader follower formation control