Control design for a class of nonholonomic systems via reference vector fields and output regulation

Dimitra Panagou, Herbert G. Tanner, Kostas J. Kyriakopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents procedural guidelines for the construction of discontinuous state feedback controllers for driftless, kinematic nonholonomic systems, with extensions to a class of dynamic nonholonomic systems with drift. Given an n-dimensional kinematic nonholonomic system subject to κ Pfaffian constraints, system states are partitioned into "leafwise" and "transverse," based on the structure of the Pfaffian constraint matrix. A reference vector field F is defined as a function of the leafwise states only in a way that it is nonsingular everywhere except for a submanifold containing the origin. The induced decomposition of the configuration space, together with requiring the system vector field to be aligned with F, suggests choices for Lyapunov-like functions. The proposed approach recasts the original nonholonomic control problem as an output regulation problem, which although nontrivial, may admit solutions based on standard tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number081011
JournalJournal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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