Adaptive Leader-Follower Formation Control of Nonholonomic Mobile Robots with Prescribed Transient and Steady-State Performance

Shi Lu Dai, Shude He, Xin Chen, Xu Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


In this article, we study the formation tracking control problem for a group of nonholonomic mobile robots under communication constraints. We use a simple leader-follower formation tracking control strategy, in which only the leading robot of the robotic group obtains the given trajectory's information, and each robot only receives information from its immediate leader. Thus, the communication graph forms a static and simple directed spanning tree. We assume that the information exchange among the robots is limited by some given communication radius. Under the limited communication range, the leader-follower distance and bearing angle constraints are considered in the formation control design. To provide the given specifications on the transient and steady-state performances of formation tracking errors, the boundaries of the predefined constraints are enforced by designer-specified performance requirements, which are functions of time. Consequently, we incorporate the barrier Lyapunov function into formation control design to mathematically prove that the formation tracking errors evolve always within the predefined regions and converge asymptotically to zero. The proposed formation control strategy can also guarantee the connectivity maintenance and collision avoidance between the leader and the follower. Simulation results show the performance of the proposed formation tracking control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8823012
Pages (from-to)3662-3671
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received March 10, 2019; revised June 17, 2019, August 13, 2019, and August 21, 2019; accepted August 22, 2019. Date of publication September 3, 2019; date of current version February 28, 2020. This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61973129 and Grant 61773169, in part by Guangdong Natural Science Foundation under Grant 2017A030313381 and Grant 2017A030313369, in part by the Foshan Science and Technology Innovation Team Special Project under Grant 2018IT100322, in part by the Science and Technology Program of Nansha District under Grant 2017GG006, and in part by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities. Paper no. TII-19-0810. (Corresponding author: Shi-Lu Dai.) S.-L. Dai and S. He are with the School of Automation Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China (e-mail:,;

Publisher Copyright:
© 2005-2012 IEEE.


  • Barrier Lyapunov function
  • collision avoidance
  • connectivity maintenance
  • leader-follower formation
  • prescribed performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptive Leader-Follower Formation Control of Nonholonomic Mobile Robots with Prescribed Transient and Steady-State Performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this