Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


First Advisor

Ben Terry

Second Advisor

Arthur Zygielbaum

Third Advisor

Carl Nelson

Date of this Version



Newman, Matthew B. DESIGN AND EXPERIMENTATION OF CABLE-DRIVEN PLATFORM STABILIZATION AND CONTROL SYSTEMS. Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2017. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Under the Supervision of Professor Ben Terry. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2017

Copyright © 2017 Matthew Newman


Agricultural researchers are constantly attempting to generate crops superior to those currently in use by the world. Whether this means creating crops with greater yield, crops that are more resilient to disease, or crops that can tolerate harsh environments with fewer failures, test plots of these experimental crops must be studied in real-world environments with minimal invasion to determine how they will perform in full-scale agricultural settings. To monitor these crops without interfering on their natural growth, a noninvasive sensor system has been implemented. This system, instituted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, uses a network of cables to support and maneuver a sensor platform above the crops at an outdoor phenotyping site.

In this work, a cable-driven parallel robot (CDPR) to be used by the university’s agricultural researchers is modeled for static behavior. This model is then compared to scaled-down CDPRs to confirm its accuracy. Second, the scaled-down CDPRs are used to study the dynamics of cable systems, test scaled-down end-effectors, and develop a CDPR control scheme. Third, a novel stabilization system is developed to maintain sensor platform orientation, improving data collection by use of a multirotor stabilization system. Multiple prototype systems are developed and experimented with to determine the capabilities and limitations of such a system. Finally, a portable CDPR system for use in remote fields is analyzed for cost feasibility and design considerations.

Advisor: Benjamin S. Terry