Research report on the Intuitive Load Control project available

The final research report on the research project Intuitive Load Control - Development of an Intuitive, Control Concept for Load Lifting Machines is now freely available and can be downloaded here

The aim of the research project was to develop an intuitive control concept for cranes using a portable remote control: intuitive load control. The operator controls the machine depending on his own orientation. The movement of an adjusting lever in the direction of the desired target position results in a load movement in the specified direction with simultaneous action of several drives.

To date, there is no intuitive, radio-based input facility that can generally be used robustly and efficiently with all types of industrial load lifting equipment, while at the same time eliminating the ergonomic disadvantages of previous degrees of freedom controls in terms of compatibility, usability and intuitiveness. In the context of the ergonomic design of intuitive load control, this research project identified user input using joysticks as a solution for the implementation of intuitive load control and successfully evaluated the potential with an online study. Based on this, the intuitive load control was technically implemented and applied to a stationary loading crane at the Chair of Materials Handling Material Flow Logistics at the Technical University of Munich in Garching. For this purpose, an input device was configured according to ergonomic specifications and the necessary sensor concepts for measuring operator orientation (MEMS inertial sensors) and hook position (rotary encoders, draw-wire encoders on the crane joints) were developed. Furthermore, an inverse kinematics from the field of robotics was modified for use on the crane in order to convert from the desired hook movements to the necessary joint movements. A suitable control concept ensures exact control of the joints even in the event of external disturbances.

The ergonomic evaluation of the intuitive load control proves the potential of the new concept. For this purpose, a test person study was conducted in which the conventional control system was compared with the intuitive load control. Especially for novices, the intuitive load control offers decisive advantages in terms of storage accuracy and operating time. In the subjective assessment it is superior to the conventional concept for both novices and experts and is chosen with 49:7 for further lifting operations.

Intuitive load control thus provides an intuitive, industrial control concept for radio-controlled cranes that can be used by different operators - regardless of previous experience - to safely control a crane. The intuitive load control enables a paradigm shift in crane control: instead of controlling the crane as before, the operator now controls the load directly - simply, quickly and safely.

Enquiries and contact

Felix Top

Research Partner

Chair of Ergonomics, TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University Munich

The project was funded by

The IGF project 19573 N ("Intuitive Load Control Concept") of the Research Association of the Federal Association for Logistics (BVL), Schlachte 31, 28195 Bremen, was funded via the AiF as part of the programme to promote joint industrial research (IGF) by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.
We are grateful for the promotion and support.


Download the research report about intuitive load control (German)