In before "But GPS resolution is only <xyz>..."

A project log for HoistInsight - A brain for your crane

Utilizing GPS tracking, point-to-point networking and mobile devices to increase safety and improve efficiency in crane hoist operations.

salokcinsalokcin 08/20/2014 at 05:290 Comments

Look, I understand that the resolution of civilian GPS systems is no where near the capabilities of military systems, but I think that's just okay! We aren't asking the crane operators to place a load with pinpoint accuracy without any help from the ground grew. We are asking the crane operators to identify the target and more quickly move the load into a position roughly above the target area.

If a crane operator can move 4,000 load to within 4 meters of its intended target, that allows the flagman to concentrate on the pieces that actually matter rather.

Imagine driving a fully-loaded semi-truck, blindfolded, up to a stop sign. Your passenger (flagman) is responsible for telling you when to stop so you don't blow through the stop sign. What if your passenger waited until you were AT the stop sign to tell you to stop? You will lock up the brakes and slide well through the stop sign. The difference for a crane lift is that once you miss the "stop sign" you have to wait for the load to stop swinging then back it up to where it should've been.

What if your passenger (flagman) is more skilled than that? He knows to warn you ahead of time that you are nearing the stop sign. What he doesn't know is just how heavy your truck (load) is, so he doesn't know how early you should start hitting the brakes. He could tell you "100 yards away", in order to make you start slowing, but if the next thing he says is "10 feet away", unless you've already come to a crawl you will again blow through the stop sign.

Perhaps he's a little more cautious and tells you every 10 yards closer you get to the stop sign. That helps... a little. If his signals are right on time and you can somehow gauge your approach rate, you may be able to stop the truck fairly close to the stop sign. More often than not, though, in this scenarios your truck ends up fully stopped well before the stop sign, then you begin creeping forward under the instructions of "another 30 feet, another 25 feet..." and so on.

Now instead imagine driving that truck to the stop sign using a display that shows the position of the stop sign, position of your truck, distance between truck and stop sign, speed of your truck and time to target (stop sign). Include in that an acoustic tone (for the driver) whose frequency increases as the truck nears the stop sign.

Again, this is still a difficult situation, but we've just provided tools to make it so much easier to handle!