Autonomous Rigid Body Attitude Synchronization

Alain Sarlette, Rodolphe Sepulchre and Naomi Ehrich Leonard

Proceedings of the 46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, New Orleans, LA, December 2007.
This paper studies some extensions to the decentralized attitude synchronization of identical rigid bodies. Considering fully actuated Euler equations, the communication links between the rigid bodies are limited and available information is restricted to relative orientations and angular velocities. In particular, no leader nor external reference dictates the swarm's behavior: The control laws are derived using two classical approaches of nonlinear control - tracking and energy shaping. This leads to a comparison of two corresponding methods which are currently considered for distributed synchronization - consensus and stabilization of mechanical systems with symmetries.

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