Table of Contents
ISRN Robotics
Volume 2013, Article ID 387465, 13 pages
Research Article

Flocking for Multiple Ellipsoidal Agents with Limited Communication Ranges

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA 6845, Australia

Received 24 April 2012; Accepted 20 June 2012

Academic Editors: G.-C. Luh, K. A. Mcisaac, and F. Torres

Copyright © 2013 K. D. Do. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper contributes a design of distributed controllers for flocking of mobile agents with an ellipsoidal shape and a limited communication range. A separation condition for ellipsoidal agents is first derived. Smooth step functions are then introduced. These functions and the separation condition between the ellipsoidal agents are embedded in novel pairwise potential functions to design flocking control algorithms. The proposed flocking design results in (1) smooth controllers despite of the agents’ limited communication ranges, (2) no collisions between any agents, (3) asymptotic convergence of each agent’s generalized velocity to a desired velocity, and (4) boundedness of the flock size, defined as the sum of all distances between the agents, by a constant.