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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1965923, 17 pages
Research Article

Fuzzy Controllers for a Gantry Crane System with Experimental Verifications

Electrical Engineering Department, College of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, 13060 Safat, Kuwait

Received 30 January 2016; Revised 26 March 2016; Accepted 29 March 2016

Academic Editor: Yan-Jun Liu

Copyright © 2016 Naif B. Almutairi and Mohamed Zribi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The control problem of gantry cranes has attracted the attention of many researchers because of the various applications of these cranes in the industry. In this paper we propose two fuzzy controllers to control the position of the cart of a gantry crane while suppressing the swing angle of the payload. Firstly, we propose a dual PD fuzzy controller where the parameters of each PD controller change as the cart moves toward its desired position, while maintaining a small swing angle of the payload. This controller uses two fuzzy subsystems. Then, we propose a fuzzy controller which is based on heuristics. The rules of this controller are obtained taking into account the knowledge of an experienced crane operator. This controller is unique in that it uses only one fuzzy system to achieve the control objective. The validity of the designed controllers is tested through extensive MATLAB simulations as well as experimental results on a laboratory gantry crane apparatus. The simulation results as well as the experimental results indicate that the proposed fuzzy controllers work well. Moreover, the simulation and the experimental results demonstrate the robustness of the proposed control schemes against output disturbances as well as against uncertainty in some of the parameters of the crane.