The CRANIUM: A Case Study of Sensory Improvement for Construction Equipment Operators

by John G. Everett, Massachusetts Inst of Technology, Cambridge, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Preparing for Construction in the 21st Century


Machines excel at physical processes such as generating large forces and performing repetitive motions, but humans are still better at information intensive processes such as planning, sensing, adapting, and judging. Most successful examples of construction automation use machines to extend the physical limits of man, while maintaining human operator control. In many cases, technological advances in physical processes have exceeded man's ability to safely control his machines. This paper adopts a fundamentally different approach to construction automation. The objective is to exploit modern information and communication technology to enhance human senses and information processing capacity allowing fuller utilization of the physical processing capacity of existing machines. As an example, the CRANIUM video system has been developed to improve communication and sensory input for crane operators. An improvement of 16% in crane productivity is reported. The CRANIUM also improves safety of crane operations.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Construction equipment | Probe instruments | Human factors | Safety | Information systems | Spreadsheets | Motion (dynamics)

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