Cooperative distributed source seeking by multiple robots: Algorithms and experiments

Shuai Li, Ruofan Kong, Yi Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the problem of source seeking using a group of mobile robots equipped with sensors for source concentration measurement. In the formulation, the robot team cooperatively estimates the gradient of the source field, moves to the source by tracing the gradient-ascending direction, and keeps a predefined formation in movement. We present two control algorithms with all-to-all and limited communications, respectively. For the case of all-to-all communication, rigorous analytic analysis proves that the formation center of the robots converges to the source in the presence of estimation errors with a bounded error, the upper bound of which is explicitly given. In the case of limited communication where centralized quantities are not available, distributed consensus filters are used to distributively estimate the centralized quantities, and then embedded in the distributed control laws. Numerical simulations are given to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approaches. Experimental results on the E-puck robot platform demonstrate satisfactory performances in a light source seeking application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6698334
Pages (from-to)1810-1820
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Consensus filter
  • distributed control
  • multi-robots
  • source seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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