Rigidity maintenance control for multi-robot systems

Daniel Zelazo, Antonio Franchi, Frank Allgöwer, Heinrich H. Bülthoff, Paolo Robuffo Giordano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

34 Citations (Scopus)


Rigidity of formations in multi-robot systems is important for formation control, localization, and sensor fusion. This work proposes a rigidity maintenance gradient controller for a multi-Agent robot team. To develop such a controller, we first provide an alternative characterization of the rigidity matrix and use that to introduce the novel concept of the rigidity eigenvalue. We provide a necessary and sufficient condition relating the positivity of the rigidity eigenvalue to the rigidity of the formation. The rigidity maintenance controller is based on the gradient of the rigidity eigenvalue with respect to each robot position. This gradient has a naturally distributed structure, and is thus amenable to a distributed implementation. Additional requirements such as obstacle and inter-Agent collision avoidance, as well as typical constraints such as limited sensing/communication ranges and line-of-sight occlusions, are also explicitly considered. Finally, we present a simulation with a group of seven quadrotor UAVs to demonstrate and validate the theoretical results.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRobotics
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Systems VIII
EditorsNicholas Roy, Paul Newman, Siddhartha Srinivasa
PublisherMIT Press Journals
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780262519687
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational Conference on Robotics Science and Systems, RSS 2012 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2012 Jul 92012 Jul 13

Publication series

NameRobotics: Science and Systems
ISSN (Print)2330-7668
ISSN (Electronic)2330-765X


OtherInternational Conference on Robotics Science and Systems, RSS 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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