A Voxel-Based Numerical Method for Computing and Visualising the Workspace of Offshore Cranes
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Workspace computation and visualisation is one of the most important criteria in offshore crane design in terms of geometry dimensioning, installation feasibility and operational performance evaluation. This paper presents a numerical method for the computation and visualisation of the workspace of offshore cranes. The Working Load Limit (WLL) and the Safe Working Load (SWL) can be automatically determined. A three-dimensional (3D) rectangular grid of voxels is used to describe the properties of the workspace. Firstly, a number of joint configurations are generated by using the Monte Carlo method, which are then mapped from joint to Cartesian space using forward kinematics (FK). The bounding box of the workspace is then derived from these points, and the voxels are distributed on planes inside the box. The method distinguishes voxels by whether they are reachable and if they are on the workspace boundary. The output of the method is an approximation of the workspace volume and point clouds depicting both the reachable space and the boundary of the workspace. Using a third-party software that can work with point clouds, such like MeshLab, a 3D mesh of the workspace can be obtained. A more in-depth description and the pseudo-code of the presented method are presented. As a case study, the workspace of a common type of offshore crane, with three rotational joints, is computed with the proposed method.