Development of Teleoperation System for Overhead Handling Cranes
Authors: Zhefan Yu, Jianping Luo, Han Zhang, Ruotian Zhang, Seung Hee Lee
Abstract: To offer the possibility to achieve the teleoperation of electric overhead travelling (EOT) crane by human operators and avoid in-site hazardous operations, this study presented a technical prototype of tele-operated overhead handling (TOH) crane system using a three-axial robot. To evaluate the usability of the proposed TOH crane system, this study aimed to investigate the satisfaction of human operators during teleoperation. Specifically, we surveyed the subjective feedback of a novice group including 21 University participants and an expert group including 11 professional EOT crane operators regarding the teleoperation system. The subjective feedback was collected through a designed 7-point Likert questionnaire comprised of 11 standard questions. A typical side-to-side handling task condition was tested. The feedback of the novices in each dimension was compared with the experts. The feedback of the experts was used to evaluate the reproducibility of the prototype. The results showed that although most of the novices and experts (over 80%) agreed that the prototype TOH crane system was simple to learn and operate, the positioning assistance displaying critical information on the visual display interface (VDI) such as the relative location of items in relation to the loading area and the alignment, was crucial for the novices’ teleoperations. 91% of the experts gave positive feedback on the reproducibility of the technical prototype. The results of prototyping demonstrated the system features and explored possibilities before the in-site constructions. The results of the investigation of operators’ subjective feedback provided suggestions for developing the features of TOH cranes in the future.
Keywords: Teleoperation, Human factors, Overhead handling crane operation
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