Continuous reachability task transition using control barrier functions

M. Srinivasan, C. Santoyo, S. Coogan
IFAC 2020 World Congress, 2020


In this paper, a method to achieve smooth transitions between sequential reachability tasks for a continuous time mobile robotic system is presented. Control barrier functions provide formal guarantees of forward invariance of safe sets and finite-time reachability and are able to enforce task execution. Barrier functions used in quadratic programs result in implementation of controllers with real-time performance guarantees. Existing approaches for multi-objective task execution using control barrier functions leverage discretely switched, sequential quadratic programs to achieve successive tasks. However, discrete switching can lead to control input discontinuities which can affect a robot's performance. Hence, we propose a method which ensures continuous transitions between sequential quadratic programs. In particular, a time varying component to the barrier function constraint is introduced which allows for a smooth transition between objectives. Robotic implementation results are also provided.