Synchronous intercept strategies for a robotic defense-intrusion game with two defenders

Shuai Zhang, Mingyong Liu, Xiaokang Lei, Panpan Yang, Yunke Huang, Ruaridh Clark

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We study the defense-intrusion game, in which a single attacker robot tries to reach a stationary target that is protected by two defender robots. We focus on the "synchronous intercept problem", where both robots have to reach the attacker robot synchronously to intercept it. Assume that the attacker robot has the control policy which is based on attraction to the target and repulsion from the defenders, two kinds of synchronous intercept strategies are proposed for the defense-intrusion game, introduced here as Attacker-oriented and Neutral-position-oriented. Theoretical analysis and simulation results show that: (1) the two strategies are able to generate different synchronous intercept patterns: contact intercept pattern and stable non-contact intercept pattern, respectively. (2) The contact intercept pattern allows the defender robots to intercept the attacker robot in finite time, while the stable non-contact intercept pattern generates a periodic attractor that prevents the attack robot from reaching the target for infinite time. There is potential to apply the insights obtained into defense-intrusion in real systems, including aircraft escort and the defense of military targets or territorial boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15–30
Number of pages16
JournalAutonomous Robots
Early online date15 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2021


  • defense-intrusion
  • multi-robot systems
  • pursuit-evasion
  • synchronous intercept


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