A model-based approach to cooperative operation of multirobot systems

Honghai Liu, J. Dai, L. Seneviratne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to report a novel practical algorithm for manipulation planning of multiple articulated robots. Design/methodology/approach – This paper proposes a model-based approach to distributing trajectory segments to individual robots in a multirobot system, given a task in terms of trajectories. This approach consists of three modules: task trajectory generation, cooperative robots selection, and joint trajectory generation. Findings – The proposed algorithm has been implemented into a simulation system with four-planar robots and a multirobot-packing system, which has shown the effectiveness of the presented method. It improves the flexibility of robot cooperation and handles dynamically cooperative trajectories by using a modularized mapping from Cartesian space to joint space of robots. Research limitations/implications – The reported research has been developed for task-oriented applications with prior knowledge. Future work will focus on acquiring prior knowledge using vision systems. Practical implications – The key contribution of this paper is that it offers a practical real-time solution to task-oriented applications. For instance, the proposed method could close the gaps and significantly improve work efficiency in carton packing involved in industrial chains. Originality / value – The reported work allows a multirobot system realtime, dynamically distributing trajectory segments to individual robots for task-oriented applications. Industrial practitioners would benefit from employing it in their existing systems, e.g. the car assembly industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial Robot: An International Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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