Fully Distributed Cooperation for Networked Uncertain Mobile Manipulators

Yi Ren, Stefan Sosnowski, Sandra Hirche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This article investigates a fully distributed cooperation scheme for networked mobile manipulators. To achieve cooperative task allocation in a distributed way, an adaptation-based estimation law is established for each robotic agent to estimate the desired local trajectory. In addition, wrench synthesis is analyzed in detail to lay a solid foundation for tight cooperation tasks. Together with the estimated task, a set of distributed adaptive (DA) controllers is proposed to achieve motion synchronization of the mobile manipulator ensemble over a directed graph with a spanning tree irrespective of the kinematic and dynamic uncertainties in both the mobile manipulators and the tightly grasped object. The controlled synchronization alleviates the performance degradation caused by the estimation/tracking discrepancy during the transient phase. The proposed scheme requires no persistent excitation condition and avoids the use of noisy Cartesian-space velocities. Furthermore, it is independent from the object's center of mass by employing formation-based task allocation and a task-oriented strategy. These attractive attributes facilitate the practical application of the scheme. It is theoretically proven that convergence of the cooperative task tracking error is guaranteed. Simulation results, as well as manipulation experiments with three mobile manipulators involved, validate the efficacy and demonstrate the expected performance of the proposed scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9016074
Pages (from-to)984-1003
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Adaptive control
  • cooperative task allocation
  • distributed cooperation
  • networked mobile manipulators
  • uncertain kinematics and dynamics


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