Case Studies
Motion Capture Applied to Mobile Robot Swarm Formation
School of Mechanical Engineering, Yanshan University
Mobile Robot Swarm Formation, Indoor Positioning
Mobile Robot

Thanks to the fast growing of artificial intelligence, robot technology is widely used in life and industry. However, for complex application scenarios, a single robot is usually not competent. Mobile robot swarm formation is capable of efficiently completing complex tasks through self-organizing cooperative control. Therefore, robot swarm formation technology is becoming a research hot-spot as an effective way to improve the execution efficiency of tasks.

Researchers from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Yanshan University have carried out research in the field of robot swarm formation. Different from the open air, ground mobile robots cannot use GPS navigation indoors, but in the conventional formation, it is always necessary to obtain the posture information of UGVs.

Therefore, the research team adopted the NOKOV motion capture system to achieve indoor positioning. Optical motion capture system can achieve high-precision indoor positioning, obtains the robots’ 3D spatial position and the 6DOF of the rigid body, and transmits the data to the ground station with low delay, through which the ground station sends instructions to realize the control of the robots.

In the research of autonomous formation technology, researchers put forward their own formation control protocol. After the theoretical analysis and simulation design of the control protocol, based on the simulation results and related parameters, the formation marching experiment of the physical system is realized.

The 3D spatial position and the 6DOF of the rigid body obtained by the motion capture system are transmitted to the robot operating system ROS based on Ubuntu through VRPN protocol. After reading the data in ROS, the ground station software will calculate the motion parameters, solves the formation control quantity, estimates the position of the voyage point, and issues the voyage point instruction. After the robot receives the command of departure point, it moves in the next direction, and its posture information will be captured and transmitted to the ground station again , thus realizing the control of robots swarm formation indoor.

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