A BIM- and sensor-based tower crane navigation system for blind lifts

Ghang Lee, Joonbeom Cho, Sungil Ham, Taekwan Lee, Gaang Lee, Seok Heon Yun, Hyung Jun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Tower crane operators often operate a tower crane with blind spots. To solve this problem, video camera systems and anti-collision systems are often deployed. However, the current video camera systems do not provide accurate distance and understanding of the crane's surroundings. A collision-detection system provides location information only as numerical data. This study introduces a newly developed tower crane navigation system that provides three-dimensional information about the building and surroundings and the position of the lifted object in real time using various sensors and a building information modeling (BIM) model. The system quality was evaluated in terms of two aspects, ease of use and usefulness, based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) theory. The perceived ease of use of the system was improved from the initial 3.2 to 4.4 through an iterative design process. The tower crane navigation system was deployed on an actual construction site for 71 days, and the use patterns were video recorded. The results clearly indicated that the tower crane operators relied heavily on the tower crane navigation system during blind lifts (93.33%) compared to the text-based anti-collision system (6.67%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The experiments were conducted on the actual construction site of a research building on a university campus. The construction costs were partially funded by our research project. The building was a seven-story steel-framed building. A single tower crane was deployed, and the site was fenced. The following sections describe the user experiments for perceived ease of use and then perceived usefulness.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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