Abstract The collision avoidance behavior in a Recursive Nested Control Structure Design is discussed. A formulation of a repulsion force based on measurements of ultrasonic range and tactile force and moment is given. The avoidance behavior adapts to the dynamics of the mobile robot. The realization details emphasize the importance of keeping the system land width as large as possible to increase the reflexiveness of the avoidance behavior. Real-world experiments confirm the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed procedure.