Cooperative collision avoidance for nonholonomic robots

Javier Alonso-Mora*, Paul Beardsley, Roland Siegwart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we present a method, namely CCA, for collision avoidance in dynamic environments among interacting agents, such as other robots or humans. Given a preferred motion by a global planner or driver, the method computes a collision-free local motion for a short time horizon, which respects the actuator constraints and allows for smooth and safe control. The method builds on the concept of reciprocal velocity obstacles and extends it to respect the kinodynamic constraints of the robot and account for a grid-based map representation of the environment. The method is best suited for large multirobot settings, including heterogeneous teams of robots, in which computational complexity is of paramount importance and the robots interact with one another. In particular, we consider a set of motion primitives for the robot and solve an optimization in the space of control velocities with additional constraints. Additionally, we propose a cooperative approach to compute safe velocity partitions in the distributed case. We describe several instances of the method for distributed and centralized operation and formulated both as convex and nonconvex optimizations. We compare the different variants and describe the benefits and tradeoffs both theoretically and in extensive experiments with various robotic platforms: robotic wheelchairs, robotic boats, humanoid robots, small unicycle robots, and simulated cars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-420
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Autonomous robots
  • collision avoidance
  • motion planning
  • multi-robot systems
  • robot control
  • robot motion


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