Visual servoing for path reaching with nonholonomic robots

Andrea Cherubinia1 c1, François Chaumettea1 and Giuseppe Orioloa2

a1 INRIA Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes, France. E-mail:

a2 Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica, Università di Roma “La Sapienza,” Via Ariosto 25, 00185 Roma, Italy. E-mail:


We present two visual servoing controllers (pose-based and image-based) enabling mobile robots with a fixed pinhole camera to reach and follow a continuous path drawn on the ground. The first contribution is the theoretical and experimental comparison between pose-based and image-based techniques for a nonholonomic robot task. Moreover, our controllers are appropriate not only for path following, but also for path reaching, a problem that has been rarely tackled in the past. Finally, in contrast with most works, which require the path geometric model, only two path features are necessary in our image-based scheme and three in the pose-based scheme. For both controllers, a convergence analysis is carried out, and the performance is validated by simulations, and outdoor experiments on a car-like robot.

(Received March 09 2011)

(Online publication April 11 2011)


  • Control of robotic systems;
  • Mobile robots;
  • Visual servoing;
  • Navigation;
  • Automation


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: