Cranes provide an excellent platform for teaching advanced controls. They have a simple pendulum-type oscillation that is useful for demonstrating basic control methods. However, cranes also have additional dynamic effects such as motor dynamics, velocity limits, and nonlinear slewing dynamics that make them well suited for advanced study. If the cranes are made remotely operable, then students can also study tele-operation and control of systems with time delays. An advanced control design course taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology has integrated tele-operated cranes into both the lecture and laboratory exercises. The laboratories lead the students through the use of two tele-operated cranes. The lab component of the course culminates with a five-week team project in which the students design and implement their own research project on the cranes. The primary goal of using the cranes is to provide hands-on experiences in implementing advanced controllers on real systems. This paper describes the cranes and the complementary curriculum.

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