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Volume 26 Issue 4 - Publication Date: 1 April 2007
 
Combined Path-following and Obstacle Avoidance Control of a Wheeled Robot
 
Lionel Lapierre, Rene Zapata and Pascal Lepinay Université Montpellier II, 161, rue Ada 34392 Montpellier Cedex 5
 
This paper proposes an algorithm that drives a unicycle type robot to a desired path, including obstacle avoidance capabilities. The path-following control design relies on Lyapunov theory, backstepping techniques and deals explicitly with vehicle dynamics. Furthermore, it overcomes the initial condition constraints present in a number of path-following control strategies described in the literature. This is done by controlling explicitly the rate of progression of a “virtual target” to be tracked along the path thus bypassing the problems that arise when the position of the path target point is simply defined as the closest point on the path. The obstacle avoidance part uses the Deformable Virtual Zone (DVZ) principle. This principle defines a safety zone around the vehicle in which the presence of an obstacle induces an “intrusion of information” that drives the vehicle reaction. The overall algorithm is combined with a guidance solution that embeds the path-following requirements in a desired intrusion information function, which steers the vehicle to the desired path while the DVZ ensures minimal contact with the obstacle, implicitly bypassing it. Simulation and experimental results illustrate the performance of the control system proposed.
 
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