Constrained Line-of-Sight Tracking Control of A Tractor-Trailer Mobile Robot System with Multiple Constraints

Xu Jin, Shi Lu Dai, Jianjun Liang, Dejun Guo, Huan Tan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A tractor-trailer mobile robot system consists of an actuated tractor robot attached with an unactuated trailer robot. The system has a wide range of applications in areas including agriculture, logistics, transportation, etc. Due to the nonlinear and underactuated nature of the system, the tracking control problem is particularly challenging. In particular, while the tractor mobile robot is often well equipped with sophisticated collision avoidance and path following algorithms, the trailer cannot be controlled directly, which can easily deviate from the desired trajectory and result in collisions. In this paper, we propose a novel constrained tracking control algorithm for the trailer to track a desired trajectory, while satisfying multiple performance and feasibility constraint requirements during the operation. To deal with the constraint issue during the tracking control task, both a universal barrier function approach and a novel state transformation scheme are incorporated to deal with constraints of different nature. We show that exponential convergence can be guaranteed, with the convergence rate depending on the control input gain. In the end, a simulation example further demonstrates the efficacy of the proposed algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781665441971
StatePublished - May 25 2021
Event2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021 - Virtual, New Orleans, United States
Duration: May 25 2021May 28 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, New Orleans

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Xu Jin is with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA. The work by Xu Jin was supported in part by NASA Kentucky under NASA award No. 80NSSC20M0047. (E-mail:

Funding Information:
The work of Shi-Lu Dai and Jianjun Liang was supported in part by the Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province under Grant 2020B1111010002, in part by the Guangdong Marine Economic Development Project under Grant GDNRC [2020]018, and in part by the Foshan Science and Technology Innovation Team Special Project under Grant 2018IT100322.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Automatic Control Council.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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