The increasing human population coupled with the intermingling of the world's economies continues to raise demand for the transportation of goods which are primarily carried by ships, tractors, and trains in standard size containers. When either brought to port by ships or placed onto ships for transport, wharf gantry cranes are critical for handling these cargo containers. Although the motion of the cranes is not overly complex, they do require highly skilled operators with a keen eye for safety, and that are tolerant of poor ergonomics. As a result of the increased demand for the transportation of goods, the operators are also faced with constant and increasing productivity demands. However, the productivity of the operator cannot be increased without changes to the way the operator interfaces with the wharf gantry crane. Although research is under–way for improvements to the operator interfaces of other types of cranes, the technology that has been shown effective in other applications, such as haptic (force and/or tactile) and visual feedback could be used in wharf cranes for increasing accuracy while simultaneously improving ergonomics and safety. This work explores the use of force feedback in a lab-scale gantry crane designed to serve as a testbed for how to provide assistance in a form of motion guidance to the wharf gantry crane operator. Taking lessons from a survey of literature and an interview with current crane operators, a test scenario was devised for the testbed that demonstrated the potential benefit of incorporating force feedback into the operator interfaces of actual cranes.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
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