Consensus Tracking Control of Multiple Quadrotors with a Cooperative Leader

Izzuddin Mat Lazim, Abdul Rashid Husain, Liyana Ramli, Nurul Adilla Mohd Subha, Mohd Ariffanan Mohd Basri


This paper discusses the design of a consensus tracking algorithm with the practical implementation of solving distributed altitude and attitude tracking of multiple quadrotors. In contrast to most of the existing works that consider a leader agent that is non-cooperative, this paper proposes an algorithm that allows the leader agent to receive feedback from a subset of the followers. Firstly, the feedback linearization technique is utilized on the nonlinear quadrotor dynamics which yield a simple linear system. Then, the proposed consensus tracking algorithm is designed and employed to the resulting linear system to achieve consensus tracking on altitude and attitudes via local interaction between neighbours. Results obtained show that the proposed consensus tracking for a group of quadrotors can improve connectivity preservation as compared to the non-cooperative leader in the presence of an obstacle. Based on the formulation of the controller, the methodology can be easily adapted to various systems such as attitude synchronization of multiple satellite systems.


Consensus; Multi-agent Systems; Quadrotor.

Article Metrics

Abstract view : 302 times
PDF - 365 times

Full Text:



X. Wang, Z. Zeng and Y. Cong, Multi-agent distributed coordination control: Developments and directions via graph viewpoint, Neurocomputing, 199, 2016, 204–218.

W. Ren and R. W. Beard, Distributed consensus in multi-vehicle cooperative control: theory and applications. London: Springer London, 2008.

H. Chu and W. Zhang, Adaptive consensus tracking for linear multi-agent systems with input saturation, Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control, 38(12), 2016, 1434–1441.

H. Zhang and F. L. Lewis, Adaptive cooperative tracking control of higher-order nonlinear systems with unknown dynamics, Automatica, 48(7), 2012, 1432–1439.

Z. Li, G. Wen, Z. Duan and W. Ren, Designing fully distributed consensus protocols for linear multi-agent systems with directed graphs, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 60(4), 4, 2015, 1152–1157.

N. A. M. Subha and G. P. Liu, External consensus in multi-agent systems with large consecutive data loss under unreliable networks, IET Control Theory and Applications, 10, 2016, 989–1000.

J. Wang, K. Chen and Q. Ma, Adaptive leader-following consensus of multi-Agent systems with unknown nonlinear dynamics, Entropy, 16(9), 2014, 5020–5031.

W. Liu, Q. Wu, S. Zhou and G. Yin, Leader-follower consensus control of multi-agent systems with extended Laplacian matrix, The 27th Chinese Control and Decision Conference, Qingdao, 2015, 5393–5397.

J. Xiang, W. Wei and Y. Li, Synchronized output regulation of linear networked systems, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 54(6), 2009, 1336–1341.

H. Chu, Y. Cai and W. Zhang, Consensus tracking for multi-agent systems with directed graph via distributed adaptive protocol, Neurocomputing, 166, 2015, 8–13.

F. L. Lewis, H. Zhang, K. Hengster-Movric and A. Das, Cooperative control of multi-agent systems: optimal and adaptive design approaches, London: Springer-Verlag London, 2014.

Z. Li, Z. Duan, G. Chen and L. Huang, Consensus of multiagent systems and synchronization of complex networks: a unified viewpoint, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, 57(1), 2010, 213–224.

Y. Hong, G. Chen and L. Bushnell, Distributed observers design for leader-following control of multi-agent networks, Automatica, 44(3), 2008, 846–850.

J. A. Guerrero, P. Castillo, S. Salazar and R. Lozano, Mini rotorcraft flight formation control using bounded inputs, Journal of Intelligence and Robotic Systems, 65(1), 2012, 175–186.

Z. Li, X. Liu, W. Ren, and L. Xie, Distributed tracking control for linear multiagent systems with a leader of bounded unknown input, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 58(2), 2013, 518–523.

Mahmood and Y. Kim, Leader-following formation control of quadcopters with heading synchronization, Aerospace Science and Technology, 47, 2015, 68–74.

M. A. Mohd Basri, A. R. Husain and K. a. Danapalasingam, Enhanced backstepping controller design with application to autonomous quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle, Journal of Intelligence and Robotic Systems, 79(2), 2015, 295–321.

Y. Kuriki and T. Namerikawa, Formation control of UAVs with a fourth-order flight dynamics, IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Florence, 2013, 6706–6711.

J. Ghommam, L. F. Luque-Vega, B. Castillo-Toledo, and M. Saad, Three-dimensional distributed tracking control for multiple quadrotor helicopters, Journal of the Franklin Institute, 353(10), 2016, 2344–2372.

Y. Wang, Q. Wu, and Y. Wang, Distributed consensus protocols for coordinated control of multiple quadrotors under a directed topology, IET Control Theory and Applications, 7(14), 2013, 1780–1792.

Y. Wang, Q. Wu, and Y. Wang, Distributed cooperative control for multiple quadrotor systems via dynamic surface control, Nonlinear Dynamics, 75(3), 2014, 513–527.

X. Wang, Y. Hong, J. Huang, and Z. P. Jiang, A distributed control approach to a robust output regulation problem for multi-agent linear systems, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 55(12), 2010, pp. 2891–2895.

W. Ren, Multi-vehicle consensus with a time-varying reference state, System Control Letters, 56(7-8), 2007, 474–483.


  • There are currently no refbacks.