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The objective of this project is to give recovery crane operators the ability to visualize the crane's center of gravity, while picking up a load. With this ability, the operators will know when the crane is close to tipping over. Currently, no system dynamically calculates the center of gravity. This is especially important for recovery cranes, which typically work on un-level ground. This system can save a recovery crane company millions in damage to the crane, and prevent injuries to the operator or support personnel on site. Also by storing the data it can help in determining fault if a crane were to tip over.

For this project to be successful we had to develop a system that feeds sensor data into a computing unit on the crane that then displays the cranes center of gravity on a screen to be read by the operator. Our sponsor Cranemasters provided us with a model crane as a platform for the system.

Our process for developing this system started with identifying all the variables needed to find the center of gravity for a crane. Once confirmed, we began paring variables with sensors, and decided where best they could be placed on the crane for accuracy without interfering with the cranes functionality. Then by using vector analysis we take the sensor data and turn it into a display that the operator can easily read.

Publication Date



Electrical and computer engineering, Crane, Center of Gravity, Dynamic


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Michael Cabral

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Britt Calloway

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Dynamic CG Display for Recovery Cranes