A physics-based simulation approach for cooperative erection activities

Hung-lin Chi, Shih Chung Kang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Cooperative erection activities are critical to projects which involve the erection of heavy loads or the installation of special equipment. Detailed simulation on computer prior to construction can identify constructability problems, and subsequently avoided during actual erections. This paper describes an integrated approach for simulating the detailed motions of cranes. This research develops a physics-based model that follows the principle of closed-form forward kinematics and constraint-based dynamics to present the dual-crane mechanism mathematically-a non-trivial task. This model can be used to analyze the inputs from the users (i.e. virtual crane operators) and simultaneously compute the cables sway and reaction of collisions. We also implemented the model on computer and developed a simulation system, Erection Director, to render realistic cooperative erection activities. A demonstration of simulating two-crane lift has been built and three performance tests including a small building (840 elements), a medium building (1937 elements) and a large building (2682 elements) validate the feasibility of the proposed approach. The test results indicate that Erection Director can support real-time and physics-based visualization of cooperative erections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-761
Number of pages12
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction crane
  • Cooperative erection activities
  • Erection planning
  • Forward kinematics
  • Physics-based simulation
  • Rigid body dynamics
  • Robotics
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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