Jorge Cortés


Cymer Corporation Endowed Chair

Nonsmooth control barrier function design of continuous constraints for network connectivity maintenance
P. Ong, B. Capelli, L. Sabattini, J. Cortés
Automatica 156 (2023), 111209


This paper considers the problem of maintaining global connectivity of a multi-robot system while executing a desired coordination task. Our approach builds on optimization-based feedback design formulations, where the nominal cost function and constraints encode desirable control objectives for the resulting input. We take advantage of the flexibility provided by control barrier functions to produce additional constraints that guarantee that the resulting optimization-based controller is continuous and maintains network connectivity. Our solution uses the algebraic connectivity of the multi-robot interconnection topology as a control barrier function and critically embraces its nonsmooth nature. The technical treatment combines elements from set-valued theory, nonsmooth analysis, and algebraic graph theory to imbue the proposed constraints with regularity properties so that they can be smoothly combined with other control constraints. We provide simulations and experimental results illustrating the effectiveness and continuity of the proposed approach in a resource gathering problem.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego
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