University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Control and navigation in manoeuvres of formations of unmanned mobile vehicles

Design of a method for controlling formations of autonomous nonholonomic vehicles in order to reach a desired target region. The approach is based on utilization of pairs of virtual leaders whose control inputs are obtained in a single optimization process using model predictive control (MPC) methodology. The obtained solution of the optimization includes both a complete plan for the formation including the overall structure of robots’ workspace and control inputs for each vehicle. This ensures collision-free trajectories between the robots as well as dynamic obstacles. The proposed method enables to autonomously design arbitrary manoeuvres, like reverse driving or rotations of compact formations of car-like robots.


Autonomous "snow" shoveling of an airport model.

A group of autonomous robots cooperatively cleaning a model of airport from artificial snow. The approach is based on a model predictive control technique.

Navigation, localization and stabilization of formations of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles.

A leader-follower formation driving algorithm developed for control of heterogeneous groups of unmanned micro aerial and ground vehicles stabilized under a top-view relative localization is presented. The core of the proposed method lies in a novel avoidance function, in which the entire 3D formation is represented by a convex hull projected along a desired path to be followed by the group.



  1. M Saska, J S Mejia, D M Stipanovic, V Vonasek, K Schilling and L Preucil. Control and Navigation in Manoeuvres of Formations of Unmanned Mobile Vehicles. European Journal of Control 19(2):157–171, March 2013. PDF BibTeX

    	author = "Saska, M. and Mejia, J.S. and Stipanovic, D.M. and Vonasek, V. and Schilling, K. and Preucil, L.",
    	title = "{Control and Navigation in Manoeuvres of Formations of Unmanned Mobile Vehicles}",
    	journal = "European Journal of Control",
    	year = 2013,
    	volume = 19,
    	number = 2,
    	pages = "157--171",
    	month = "March",
    	pdf = "data/papers/European_Journal_control2013.pdf"
  2. M Saska, J S Mejia, D M Stipanovic and K Schilling. Control and Navigation of Formations of Car-Like Robots on a Receding Horizon. In IEEE Multi-conference on Systems and Control. 2009. PDF BibTeX

    	author = "M. Saska and J. S. Mejia and D. M. Stipanovic and K. Schilling",
    	title = "Control and Navigation of Formations of Car-Like Robots on a Receding Horizon",
    	booktitle = "IEEE Multi-conference on Systems and Control",
    	year = 2009,
    	pdf = "data/papers/MSC-joined.pdf"