A cyber-physical system (CPS) for planning and monitoring mobile cranes on construction sites

Congwen Kan, Yihai Fang, Chimay J. Anumba, John I. Messner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Various ways of improving mobile crane safety on construction sites have been introduced and adopted, such as visualisation of mobile crane operations, algorithm-based lift planning and spatial conflict identification. However, these focus only on either planning or monitoring aspects - there is no effective method for planning and monitoring mobile crane operations consistently with real-time control feedback. Developments in information technology, notably cyber-physical systems, are changing the way that planning and monitoring can be done. This paper explores the applicability of such systems to mobile cranes on construction sites. A five-layer system architecture is proposed, and the key components and the enabling technologies in each layer are investigated. The potential benefits and barriers in the implementation of the proposed system are also highlighted. By enabling bidirectional communication and coordination between physical components and their virtual representations, the system offers advantages in managing mobile cranes in such a way as to facilitate effective planning, proactively monitor crane operations, provide rich multimodal feedback to crane operators and, ultimately, avoid mobile crane failures and mobile-crane-related accidents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700042
Pages (from-to)240-250
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the institution of Civil Engineers: Management, Procurement and Law
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Communications & control systems
  • Information technology
  • Safety & hazards

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