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Available Robotics Technology for Applications in Heavy Industry



James S. Albus, Nicholas Dagalakis, B Wang, J Unger, Jonathan W. Lee, C W. Yancey


The need for automation and the use of robots in the heavy construction industry and large scale assembly is examined. Some problems relating to the operation of cranes, like low load stiffness to rotation in all directions and translation in the horizontal plane, lateral translation load outfitting, etc., are discussed. The effect of these properties on the operation of robots suspended from cranes is considered. A new crane payload suspension mechanism consisting of six wireropes properly oriented in three dimensional space is described. Several examples of the use of this mechanism for the suspension of robot manipulator from overhead, gantry, and boom cranes are presented. An 1/10 and 1/1 scale size models of a robot cane with lateral translation load outfitting capability, which utilize this suspension mechanism, were built and are described in this paper. The stiffness of the manipulator to side loads and moments was studied. Stiffness measurement tests were conducted using the small size laboratory model. The results of these tests for various external loads, heights, and payloads are given.
Proceedings Title
1988 Iron and Steel Exposition and Annual Convention
Conference Dates
February 7-12, 1988
Conference Location
Houston, TX, USA
Conference Title
Houston (TX)




Albus, J. , Dagalakis, N. , Wang, B. , Unger, J. , Lee, J. and Yancey, C. (1988), Available Robotics Technology for Applications in Heavy Industry, 1988 Iron and Steel Exposition and Annual Convention, Houston, TX, USA, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created February 11, 1988, Updated October 12, 2021