Knowledge of vibrations and controls has increased significantly by utilizing emerging computer capabilities. Engineering education should embrace this technology through computer simulations that predict and display the dynamic response of interesting systems. For example, manipulating payloads with an overhead gantry crane can be challenging due to the oscillations induced by the crane motion. The problem gets increasingly difficult when the work environment is cluttered with obstacles. This paper describes a simple input shaping solution to the vibration problem and shows how this problem and concept were integrated into the curriculum of an undergraduate system dynamics and controls course at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Furthermore, an educational tool is used to gather data on how crane operators attempt to navigate around obstacles. The results show that input shaping reduces the likelihood of collisions between the payload and obstacles, while at the same time allowing operators to be more aggressive in selecting navigation paths.

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