Instructor Shares her Innovative Research in International Conference

The Instructor at the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Birzeit University Sima Rishmawi presented a study on the incorporation of robotics in heavy-lifting construction projects at the 2017 Future Technologies Conference (FTC). The conference, organized by the Science and Information Organization (SAI) and sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), was held on November 29-30, 2017, in Vancouver, Canada.

The paper, entitled “Control of Robotic Crawler Cranes in Tandem Lifting Operations," details a model of control and implementation derived from the tandem lifting operations of two cranes, which are usually employed to lift an object heavier than the lifting capacity of one crawler crane, or one shaped in such a way that two cranes are needed to do the lifting.

The paper also reviews the factors that contribute to a tip-over accident – through analyzing the movement of the bases of the cranes –  and presents a guideline to prevent such accidents from occurring.

Robotic control, however, is the paper’s main sphere of interest. Rishmawi’s well-received study presents a model that facilitates the control and synchronization of the two tandem cranes’ movements by replacing the human operator of the second crane with a robotic implementation that mimics the actions and movements of the first crane. Having the two cranes move in perfect unison limits the chances of sudden actions or unsynchronized movements, thereby reducing the chances of accidents on construction sites.

The FTC is an annual conference which attracts the world’s foremost experts on Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Security, and Communications. It has hosted prominent speakers such as the Director of IBM Research's Accelerated Discovery Lab Laura Hass, leader of Google’s research efforts on quantum computing John Martinis, and Professor of Computer and Information Science at Fordham University Mohammad Obaidat.