Circular Formation Control of Multiple Unicycle-Type Agents With Nonidentical Constant Speeds

Zhiyong Sun, Hector Garcia de Marina, Georg S. Seyboth, Brian D. O. Anderson, Changbin Yu (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the problem of controlling formation shapes for a group of nonholonomic unicycle-type agents with constant speeds. The control input is designed to steer their orientations and the aim is to achieve a desired formation configuration for all the agents subject to constant-speed constraints. The circular motion center is adopted as a virtual position for each agent to define the desired formation shape. We consider several different formation design approaches based on different formation specifications under different interaction graphs. In particular, two different formation design approaches, namely, a displacement-based approach and a distance-based approach, are discussed in detail to coordinate constant-speed agents in achieving a desired formation shape with stable circular motions via limited interactions. The communication and measurement requirements for each approach are also discussed. Furthermore, we propose a combined controller to stabilize a formation shape and synchronize the heading of each agent simultaneously. The effectiveness of the proposed formation control schemes is validated by both numerical simulations and real experiments with actual unmanned fixed-wing aircraft.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8267504
Pages (from-to)192-205
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Circular motion
  • constant speeds
  • cooperative control
  • graph rigidity
  • multiagent formations


Dive into the research topics of 'Circular Formation Control of Multiple Unicycle-Type Agents With Nonidentical Constant Speeds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this