A mixed-initiative formation control strategy for multiple quadrotors

George C. Karras, Charalampos P. Bechlioulis, George K. Fourlas, Kostas J. Kyriakopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we present a mixed-initiative motion control strategy for multiple quadrotor aerial vehicles. The proposed approach incorporates formation specifications and motion-planning commands as well as inputs by a human operator. More specifically, we consider a leader–follower aerial robotic system, which autonomously attains a specific geometrical formation, by regulating the distances among neighboring agents while avoiding inter-robot collisions. The desired formation is realized by a decentralized prescribed performance control strategy, resulting in a low computational complexity implementation with guaranteed robustness and accurate formation establishment. The multi-robot system is safely guided towards goal configurations, by employing a properly defined navigation function that provides appropriate motion commands to the leading vehicle, which is the only one that has knowledge of the workspace and the goal configurations. Additionally, the overall framework incorporates human commands that dictate the motion of the leader via a teleoperation interface. The resulting mixed-initiative control system has analytically guaranteed stability and convergence properties. A realistic simulation study, considering a team of five quadrotors operating in a cluttered environment, was carried out to demonstrate the performance of the proposed strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Aerial vehicles
  • Formation control
  • Mixed-initiative control
  • Navigation functions
  • Prescribed performance control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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