Hand-motion crane control using radio-frequency real-time location systems

Kelvin Chen Chih Peng, William Singhose, David Frakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Human operators have difficulty driving cranes quickly, accurately, and safely because the heavy structure of the crane responds slowly and its payload oscillates. Manipulation difficulty is increased by nonintuitive control interfaces (such as buttons, levers, and joysticks) that require substantial experience to master. This paper presents a new type of interface that allows operators to drive a crane by simply moving a hand-held radio-frequency tag through the desired path. Real-time location sensors are used to track the movements of the tag and its position is used in a feedback control loop to drive the crane. Unfortunately, crane movements usually induce large-amplitude payload oscillations. Therefore, an input-shaping control element is used to limit payload swing. Experimental results on an industrial bridge crane validate the controller performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6155608
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • Cranes
  • input shaping
  • oscillation
  • radio frequency (RF)
  • real-time location

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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