Fixed-Time Formation Control of Unicycle-Type Mobile Robots with Visibility and Performance Constraints

Shi Lu Dai, Ke Lu, Xu Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This article presents a fixed-time leader-follower formation control protocol for a swarm of unicycle-type mobile robots with visibility and performance constraints. Under a vision-based formation control framework, mobile robots calculate their control signals with only the local relative distance and bearing angle provided by onboard stereo or RGB-D cameras. Since the sensing capability of the fixed onboard cameras is subject to limited range and angle of view, the field-of-view constraints are considered to ensure that each follower can always detect its leader and meanwhile avoid collision with the leader. The time-varying and asymmetric performance constraints on formation tracking errors are applied to guarantee the transient and stead-state performance. Furthermore, the proposed control protocol can be extended to address the control design problem without constraint requirements. Based on the fixed-time control design and Lyapunov analysis, formation tracking errors are shown to converge to a small neighborhood of zero in fixed settling time. Simulation and experiment studies are performed to illustrate the effectiveness of the formation control protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9280427
Pages (from-to)12615-12625
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 20, 2020; revised August 19, 2020 and October 16, 2020; accepted November 6, 2020. Date of publication December 3, 2020; date of current version August 25, 2021. The work of S.-L. Dai and K. Lu was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61973129 and Grant 62073090, in part by the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province under Grant 2020B1111010002, in part by the Guangdong Marine Economic Development Project under Grant 2020018, and in part by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities. The work of X. Jin was supported in part by NASA Kentucky under NASA award No: 80NSSC20M0047. (Corresponding author: Xu Jin.) Shi-Lu Dai and Ke Lu are with the School of Automation Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China (e-mail:;

Publisher Copyright:
© 1982-2012 IEEE.


  • Fixed-time control
  • leader-follower formation
  • prescribed performance
  • unicycle-type mobile robots
  • vision-based control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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