We address the problem of deploying groups of tens or hundreds of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in urban environments where one or more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to coordinate the groups. We envision a paradigm in which a UAV with aerial cameras can be used to monitor and command a swarm of UGVs, and a hierarchy allowing a central planner to plan the splitting and merging of the swarm into groups and the shape (distribution) and motion of each group. We present controllers that allow an efficient hierarchical decomposition, with communication requirements that grow linearly with the number of vehicles. We illustrate the framework and the controllers with a number of simulation examples, with applications to deployment in an urban environment.
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