This work presents a novel control strategy to control a group of dog-like robots to drive a herd of non-cooperative sheep-like agents to a goal region in the environment. The sheep-like agents, which may be biological or robotic, respond to the presence of the dog-like robots with a repelling potential field common in biological models of the behavior of herding animals. Our key insight in designing control laws for the dog-like robots is to enforce geometrical relationships that allow for the combined dynamics of the dogs and sheep to be mapped to a simple unicycle robot model. We prove convergence of a single sheep to a desired goal region using two or more dogs, and we propose a control strategy for the case of any number of sheep driven by two or more dogs. Simulations in Matlab and hardware experiments with Pololu m3pi robots were conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of our control strategy.
The video below is a part of our 2015 ICRA paper.