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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 194280, 15 pages
Research Article

Formation Control of Robotic Swarm Using Bounded Artificial Forces

College of Information System and Management, National University of Defense Technology, Hunan, Changsha 410073, China

Received 7 September 2013; Accepted 20 October 2013

Academic Editors: S.-W. Lin and K.-C. Ying

Copyright © 2013 Long Qin et al. 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.


Formation control of multirobot systems has drawn significant attention in the recent years. This paper presents a potential field control algorithm, navigating a swarm of robots into a predefined 2D shape while avoiding intermember collisions. The algorithm applies in both stationary and moving targets formation. We define the bounded artificial forces in the form of exponential functions, so that the behavior of the swarm drove by the forces can be adjusted via selecting proper control parameters. The theoretical analysis of the swarm behavior proves the stability and convergence properties of the algorithm. We further make certain modifications upon the forces to improve the robustness of the swarm behavior in the presence of realistic implementation considerations. The considerations include obstacle avoidance, local minima, and deformation of the shape. Finally, detailed simulation results validate the efficiency of the proposed algorithm, and the direction of possible futrue work is discussed in the conclusions.