Directed and Non-Directed Potential Field Approaches to Formation Navigation

F.E. Schneider and D. Wildermuth (Germany)


Multi robot, potential field, formation navigation.


The potential field (PF) approach has been used for many robot applications. One of the increasingly popular uses is the field of multi robot navigation. Especially the sub problem of formation navigation is predestined for this method. This paper presents an improvement of the clas sical potential field approach for motion co-ordination in formations of multi robot systems (MRS). The approach is briefly compared to related work. For the sub-task of moving in formation, a solution based on a directed potential field is presented. Different forces belonging to other robots, obstacles and the aspired shape of formation are combined and used to move each robot to its desired position inside the formation. While moving in formation, the group is able to avoid obstacles and approach towards a specified target. First experiments that show the differ ences and improvements in comparison to the classical method are presented.

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