Distributed Control of Robotic Networks

A Mathematical Approach to Motion Coordination Algorithms

The intended audience of this book are first- and second-year graduate students in control and robotics from Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering. A familiarity with basic concepts from analysis, linear algebra, dynamical systems, and control theory is assumed.

Researchers in the fields of control theory and robotics who are not aware of the literature on distributed algorithms will also benefit from the book. The book uses notions with a clear computer-science flavor and integrates them into the study of robotic networks. Likewise, researchers in the fields of distributed algorithms and automata theory who are not aware of robotic networks and distributed control will also find the book useful. The numerous connections that can be drawn between the classical study of distributed algorithms and the present book provide a friendly roadmap to step into the field of controlled coordination of robotic networks.

Our experience and opinion is that this text can be used for a quarter or semester-long course on ‘‘Distributed Control’’ or on ‘‘Robotic Networks.’’ Such a course could be taught in an Engineering or in a Computer Science department. We have taught such a course at our respective institutions over a 10 week, 3 hours per week, period, skipping some material and some proofs (e.g., skipping combinatorial optimization in Chapter 1, some of the multicenter functions and the nonconvex geometry treatment in Chapter 2, and the relative-sensing model in Chapter 3). With proofs and more complete treatment, we estimate the material might require 45 hours of lecture time.