Large cranes are commonly used to lift shipping containers onto ships in busy ports. These high-powered cranes bring the containers from the ground on to the ships in a matter of seconds and use advanced control algorithms to optimize their motion. The control of the cranes has a number of objectives including fast performance, power limitation, swing restrictions and more. Furthermore, it is necessary to compensate for external forces such as wind and drag in the ever-changing outdoor environment.
For a project for my Controls class at Olin College, I explored the application of different control algorithms to the crane problem. While classical control methods showed some promise at potentially being able to control the crane system, modern control techniques proved much more powerful for controlling this complex dynamic system. Full state feedback control demonstrated an ability to precisely control the system while achieving all of the set forth control objectives. Knowledge of all of the states allows for more powerful control than possible with traditional control methods.
For more information on this project, check out the written project report.