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Improving crane safety by agent-based dynamic motion planning using UWB real-time location system

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Improving crane safety by agent-based dynamic motion planning using UWB real-time location system

Zhang, Cheng (2010) Improving crane safety by agent-based dynamic motion planning using UWB real-time location system. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The safe operation of cranes requires not only the experience of the operator, but also sufficient and appropriate support in real time. Due to the dynamic nature of construction sites, unexpected changes in the site layout may create new obstacles for the crane that can result in collisions and accidents. Limited research has been done on efficient re-planning for cranes with near real-time environment updating while considering communications between construction crews.
To improve the safety of mobile crane operations and to provide more awareness on site, the present research proposes a near real-time monitoring and motion planning approach to improve crane safety on construction sites using an ultra wideband (UWB) real-time location system (RTLS) technology. In addition, an agent system framework is proposed to guide crane operators for safe crane operations by enhancing environment awareness and by providing intelligent re-planning. Location data are collected from tags attached to cranes and are processed by the agent system to identify the poses of dynamic objects, which is used to generate a new motion plan to guide the crane movement and thus to avoid potential collision.
A motion planning algorithm, RRT-Con-Con-Mod, is proposed to efficiently generate safe and smooth paths for crane motions, mainly for the boom movement, while taking into account the engineering constraints and the path quality. A dynamic motion planning algorithm, DRRT-Con-Con-Mod, is proposed to ensure safety during the execution phase by quickly re-planning and avoiding collisions. In addition, an anytime algorithm is proposed to search for better solutions during a given time period by improving the path smoothness and by reducing the path execution time. The proposed algorithms are compared with other motion planning and re-planning algorithms. The results show that the proposed algorithms can quickly find a safe and smooth motion plan.
Several tests of a UWB system have been applied in the laboratory and in indoor and outdoor environments to investigate the requirements of applying UWB on construction sites, that is, requirements including accuracy, visibility, scalability, and real-time. To satisfy these requirements, the configuration of the UWB system has been analyzed in detail to decide the sensors’ and tags’ locations and numbers based on heuristic rules. These tests show a good potential for using UWB tracking technology in construction sites by processing and organizing location data into useful information for near real-time environment updating.
Furthermore, the framework of an agent system is proposed to integrate the proposed methodologies of motion planning and near real-time tracking. Different agents are created to represent the equipment, to coordinate tasks, and to update the site information. The functions of these agents include exchanging information, deciding priorities, etc.
The current research will benefit the construction industry by providing more awareness of dynamic construction site conditions, a safer and more efficient work site, and more reliable decision support based on good communications.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science > Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Zhang, Cheng
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Building Engineering
Date:30 November 2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hammad, Amin
ID Code:7177
Deposited By:CHENG ZHANG
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 09:39
Last Modified:15 Apr 2013 01:38
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