In this paper a continuum approach for controlling the motion of a swarm of particles (“agents”) is presented. The control objective is to move the swarm from an initial reference configuration to a final configuration possibly of a different shape and size, avoid obstacles and inter-agent collisions while satisfying hard constraints on agent kinematics. The agents are considered to be inside a rectangle and it is assumed that the task is to move the swarm so that at the final time the agents are confined to a rectangle of possibly different size and orientation. It is shown that the agents can locally control their motions so that a collision free transfer respecting all agent constraints can be achieved with minimal inter-agent communication. At the nucleus of this approach is the “deformation of the group shape from a given reference configuration to a desired configuration”. The key idea is to find an appropriate homeomorphism between the initial and final configurations that respect all agent constraints. We show that a class of homogeneous transformations has very beneficial attributes. In particular, each particle or agent has a well-defined path that is based solely on its reference position. It necessarily means that an agent does not have to know the location of any other agent once the motion map is made available to an agent. We emphasize: (1) that minimum to no communication between agents is required for its implementation, and (2) it is independent of the number of agents, meaning that the approach is completely scalable. These two attributes are major advantages that are not present in most currently known path planners for swarms. Presented will be simulation results to illustrate the key ideas of the proposed approach.
- Dynamic Systems and Control Division
Planning and Control of Swarm Motions as Deformable Bodies
Rastgoftar, H, & Jayasuriya, S. "Planning and Control of Swarm Motions as Deformable Bodies." Proceedings of the ASME 2012 5th Annual Dynamic Systems and Control Conference joint with the JSME 2012 11th Motion and Vibration Conference. Volume 2: Legged Locomotion; Mechatronic Systems; Mechatronics; Mechatronics for Aquatic Environments; MEMS Control; Model Predictive Control; Modeling and Model-Based Control of Advanced IC Engines; Modeling and Simulation; Multi-Agent and Cooperative Systems; Musculoskeletal Dynamic Systems; Nano Systems; Nonlinear Systems; Nonlinear Systems and Control; Optimal Control; Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Systems; Power and Renewable Energy Systems; Powertrain Systems. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. October 17–19, 2012. pp. 439-448. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DSCC2012-MOVIC2012-8831
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