Distributed memoryless point convergence algorithm for mobile robots with limited visibility

Hideki Ando, Yoshinobu Oasa, Ichiro Suzuki, Masafumi Yamashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

442 Citations (Scopus)


We present a distributed algorithm for converging autonomous mobile robots with limited visibility toward a single point. Each robot is an omnidirectional mobile processor that repeatedly: 1) observes the relative positions of those robots that are visible; 2) computes its new position based on the observation using the given algorithm; and 3) moves to that position. The robots' visibility is limited so that two robots can see each other if and only if they are within distance V of each other and there are no other robots between them. Our algorithm is memoryless in the sense that the next position of a robot is determined entirely from the positions of the robots that it can see at that moment. The correctness of the algorithm is proved formally under an abstract model of the robot system in which: 1) each robot is represented by a point that does not obstruct the view of other robots; 2) the robots' motion is instantaneous; 3) there are no sensor and control error; and 4) the issue of collision is ignored. The results of computer simulation under a more realistic model give convincing indication that the algorithm, if implemented on physical robots, will be robust against sensor and control error.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-828
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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