Date of Award


Document Type



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher A. Kitts


This research focuses on the design and control of a fleet of robotic kayaks, and presents experimental data regarding the functionality and performance of the system. One of the key technical challenges in fielding multi-robot systems for real-world applications is the coordination and relative motion control of the individual units. Coordinated formation control of the fleet is implemented through the use of the cluster space control architecture, which is a full-order controller that treats the fleet as a virtual, articulating, kinematic mechanism. The resulting system is capable of autonomous navigation utilizing a centralized controller, currently implemented via a shore-based computer that wirelessly receives ASV data and relays control commands. Using the cluster space control approach, these control commands allow a cluster supervisor to oversee a flexible and mobile formation formed by the ASV cluster. This paper includes an extended appendix which includes MatLab and Simulink code as well as two publications completed in the process of this research.