In this work, we show that in rotary cranes, it is possible to reduce payload pendulations significantly by controlling the translational and rotational degrees of freedom of the crane. Such a control can be achieved with the heavy equipment that is already part of the crane so that retrofitting existing cranes with such a controller would require a small effort. Moreover, the control is superimposed on the commands of the operator transparently. The successful control strategy is based on delayed-position feedback of the payload motion in-plane and out-of-plane of the crane. Its effectiveness is demonstrated with a fully nonlinear three-dimensional computer simulation and with an experiment on a scaled model of a rotary crane. The results demonstrate that the pendulations can be significantly reduced, and therefore the operations rate can be greatly increased. The effectiveness of the controller is demonstrated for both rotary and gantry modes of operation of the crane.

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