KAI The German Crane AI
Artificial Intelligence for crane steering to replace human operator
The Crane LabDemonstration 2:13 min
Crane AI Components and Cognitive Architecture
Recognize load, grapple, and trucks.
Software detectors on specialized hardware modules recognize the objects that matter
and provide critical information to the AI in real-time.
Populate and maintain the world model.
The world model is the continuously updated representation of the AI’s beliefs about the
Information from sensor nodes is fused into one unified representation of the work area.
The positions of relevant objects in the work area are stored, and the position of the
crane and its moving parts is estimated and continuously updated in the world model.
Deliberation, strategies, and behaviors.
The Crane AI is constantly making high and low-level decisions. What is the next step in
the process? Where to place the load? Which is the most efficient action to achieve the present goal? The decisions are reevaluated every control cycle as updated information
from the sensors becomes available. The AI reacts immediately to changes in the
environment or to external requests.
Collect, store, and index petabytes of data for later use by the AI.
PSIORI’s cloud Infrastructure can collect data from various sources and store them safely using a cellular connection or an existing internet connection to our managed cloud services or to a private instance in AWS or Azure. An automated index allows retrieval of pictures with specific content, for instance “pictures with open grapple”. This allows the close monitoring and troubleshooting of the crane remotely and also enables continuous learning: the ability to refine and improve the AI’s models and decisions according to the data collected during operation.
Whereas the cloud connection eases the deployment and customization of the Crane AI,
it is purely optional in operation. An on-premises alternative can also be provided.
Why is artificial intelligence more effective, safer, more reliable, and more economical than humans?
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Provide crane operator with assistance systems that help him do a better job, avoid mistakes, or train for special occurrences.
PSIORI’s Crane Assist warns operators if a dangerous situation occurs, offers hints for
better performance, or even trains an operator by issuing commands and taking over if
the situation gets out of control.
Components needed: AI Injector, Sway Control, HMI.
KAI can send commands to the PLC and steer the crane. A human operator can take over command and steer the crane with one click.
Components needed: Decisions making Module, AI Injector
KAI can avoid sway or dampen existing sway and restore controlled movement.
Large masses at the end of a crane’s grapple become serious and dangerous problems
when they sway uncontrollably. Sway can occur either from unbalanced joystick
movement or through external influences like wind or collisions. Sway can be controlled
and cancelled on all movement axes, including rotational sway on the load.
Components needed: AI infusion, Sway Control
Provides essential information about the crane AI’s planned actions and serves as remote control for AI components.
PSIORI’s iPad-based Human Machine Interface allows an operator to oversee the
crane’s functions and to turn on or off the crane’s autonomy. An optional dead man’s
switch function ensures that the operator is always within reach of the HMI and able to
stop the crane. Everything is presented in a clean and modern interface.
Components needed: AI Injector, HMI, Cloud infrastructure
Provide the plant managers with KPIs about the crane’s performance.
PSIORI’s shift log describes the crane’s activities during the last shift or any other
arbitrary period. It is provided as a PDF or via a web-based tool (supervisor UI). It allows
management to view the crane’s performance over time and evaluate performance on a
day-by-day (or shift-by-shift) basis. Crane performance metrics include among others tons of logs shifted to deck and stack, net inventory change, number of pick-up and
deposit events, movement totals by axis, and even the change in the shape of the log
The supervisor UI is a mobile phone-compatible web-based dashboard for the plant supervisor and management that shows selected key performance indicators (shifted weight, number of deposit events...) during any given period (shift, day, week...). It also shows a live video from the crane’s cameras.