Multiple Robot Systems - Formation Control

Formation control has become one of the well-known problems in multi-robot systems. Compared with a single mobile robot, many advantages of mobile robots working together have been shown in many tasks, such as object transportation, mobile sensor networks, cooperative classification and surveillance, robotic soccer, etc. However many issues arise in multi-robot systems, such as communication structures, task allocation, decentralization/centralization, etc.

Formation control is an important technique to achieve cooperative behavior in multi-robot systems. The task is to control a group of mobile robots to follow a predefined path or trajectory, while maintaining a desired formation pattern. Its outcomes offer a wide range of applications, such as security patrols, search and rescue in hazardous environments, area coverage and reconnaissance in military missions. Formation control does not restrict itself only to ground mobile robots. It can be applied to aircrafts, especially unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), spacecrafts, surface vessels, or underwater vehicles.

Fig. 1: An example of a triangle formation

Fig. 2: An example of a column formation

Fig. 3: Three omni-directional mobile robots switching from the triangular formation to the column formation, follow the circular reference path. The red-color mobile robot acts as a leader, while the others have the role of a follower.
Research Interests
  • Formation Control
  • Multi-Robot Systems
  • Non-linear Control Systems
  • Cooperative Localization
  • Obstacle Avoidance
  • Formation Reconfiguration
  • Communication and Sensor Constraints


Kiattisin Kanjanawanishkul, Tel.: (07071) 29-70441, kiattisin.kanjanawanishkul at