Model predictive control of wheeled mobile robots
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The control of nonholonomic wheeled mobile robots (WMRs) has gained a lot of attention in the field of robotics over the past few decades as WMRs provide an increased range of motion resulting in a larger workspace. This research focuses on the application of Model Predictive Control (MPC) for real-time trajectory tracking of a nonholonomic WMR. MPC is a control strategy in which the control law is designed based on optimizing a cost function. The input and output constraints that may arise in practical situations can be directly incorporated into the control system using MPC. Computation time is the biggest hurdle in adapting MPC strategies for trajectory tracking. This research applies a non-feasible active set MPC algorithm developed in  which is faster than the traditional active set methods (ASMs). A discrete-time linear model of a general WMR is used for the simulation. MATLAB simulations are performed for tracking circular as well as square trajectories using the discretized WMR model and the non-feasible ASM (NF-ASM). The performance of NF-ASM is compared to two other well-known traditional algorithms, i.e. Fletcher’s ASM and MATLAB’s Quadratic Programming algorithm. It is shown that, although all these algorithms are capable of providing satisfactory trajectory tracking performance, NF-ASM is a better choice in terms of the simulation time and required number of iterations for realtime trajectory tracking of any type as long as the constraints on the inputs stay active for a long period during the simulation.