Decentralized Ability-Aware Adaptive Control for Multi-robot Collaborative Manipulation

Lei Yan, Theodoros Stouraitis, Sethu Vijayakumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Multi-robot teams can achieve more dexterous, complex and heavier payload tasks than a single robot, yet effective collaboration is required. Multi-robot collaboration is extremely challenging due to the different kinematic and dynamics capabilities of the robots, the (enforced) limited communication between them, and the uncertainty of the system parameters. In this paper, a Decentralized Ability-Aware Adaptive Control (DA3C) is proposed to address these challenges based on two key features. Firstly, the common manipulation task is represented using the proposed nominal task ellipsoid, which is used to maximize each robot’s force capability online by optimizing its configuration. Secondly, a decentralized adaptive controller is designed to be Lyapunov stable in spite of significant heterogeneous actuation constraints of the robots and uncertain physical parameters of the object and environment. In the proposed framework, decentralized coordination and load distribution between the robots is achieved without communication, while only the control deficiency is broadcast if any of the robots reaches its force limits. In this case, the object’s reference trajectory is modified in a decentralized manner to guarantee stable interaction. Finally, we perform several numerical and physical simulations to analyse and verify the proposed method with heterogeneous multi-robot teams in collaborative manipulation tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2311 - 2318
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number2
Early online date18 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Distributed robot systems
  • redundant robots
  • manipulation planning
  • motion control
  • robust/adaptive control


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