Moving-horizon nonlinear least squares-based multirobot cooperative perception

Aamir Ahmad, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we present an online estimator for multirobot cooperative localization and target tracking based on nonlinear least squares minimization. Our method not only makes the rigorous optimization-based approach applicable online but also allows the estimator to be stable and convergent. We do so by employing a moving horizon technique to nonlinear least squares minimization and a novel design of the arrival cost function that ensures stability and convergence of the estimator. Through an extensive set of real robot experiments, we demonstrate the robustness of our method as well as the optimality of the arrival cost function. The experiments include comparisons of our method with (i) an extended Kalman filter-based online-estimator and (ii) an offline-estimator based on full-trajectory nonlinear least squares.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-286
Number of pages12
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author’s research leading to the results in this article has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under REA grant agreement no. 626050 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cooperative localization and target tracking
  • Multirobot datasets
  • Nonlinear least squares
  • Soccer robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications


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