2019 Team26

Project Overview  |  Proof of Concept  |  Final Design  |  Fabrication  |  Testing and Results  |  Meet the Team  |  Acknowledgements

Project Overview

Mobile Base Crane

In order to expand the teaching styles and resources of Mechanical Design, ME351, additional avenues are being explored to create a more interactive lab for students. A mobile crane can be used to teach and reinforce concepts regarding control theory, robotics, dynamics, statics and mechanical design. A crane can also be useful during outreach programs for the Mechanical Engineering Department. It is the goal of Team KRANE to design and build a device that will accomplish these goals.

The crane that UNR has at its disposal fails to meet standards that would allow for usage as an engaging teaching tool. The crane in its current form is incapable of adjustment in the radial direction, it is not lightweight to allow easy transit for usage in outreach programs or educational labs, has poor control of movement during operation, cannot adjust speed, and is of an overall dubious design with many shortcomings. It is possible to redesign a more functional and useful device for the teaching staff in the ME department.

Design requirements for our mobile base crane include to expand UNR teaching and outreach tools, true 3D movement of a payload, a lightweight system with easy transportability, precision speed and position control, and a GUI for easy use.


Proof of Concept

The product Team KRANE is developing would most likely belong in the category of educational products for understanding crane and crane dynamics. In this industry, the two main competitors would be Elenco, as well as LEGO, both companies which produce products with similar goals in mind. While Team KRANE’s mobile base crane is not intended for being brought to market, the team has analyzed weaknesses with other educational cranes and has increased the level of complexity with which the designed crane will function and what it will be able to teach. By surpassing the shortcomings of the other products available, Team KRANE’s crane will provide become a robust and flexible teaching and outreach tool for UNR to use.

Team Krane designed two different proof of concepts: tipping and motion control. The tipping concept would prove that it would take a significant amount of external force for the crane to tip over, causing a hazard. The motion control concept proves that position tracking and speed control is able to be displayed in real time and adjusted to the user’s specification.

These concepts provide valuable real-world application knowledge to get a better understanding of how the system reacts to different forces on a smaller, scaled model of the designs. This ensures that there are no major flaws in the design and provides further proof to the analysis previously performed on these models. Below are the drawings and schematics for Team Krane’s proof of concepts.


Final design


Product design specifications are outlined in Appendix A of this document. The PDS will guide Team Krane to meet customer requirements and aid product development and organization throughout the semester.


Mobile base crane will be a teaching tool for the UNR Mechanical Engineering department.  Marketing to other colleges could be accommodated through Sponsor Dr. Fujioka in future development. As for now, the crane will be a prototype learning system for course ME351. The Engineering department provided a budget of $1,400.00 that will be used for purchasing components including shipping and sales tax costs.


Product requirements will dictate shape, size, weight, transportability, installation, and functionality of the product during all phases of the semester. Every component was thoroughly examined and approved by sponsor for design intent.


Product use embraces various age groups with easy operation for simple learning and trouble-free adjustability.


Material must be enough for structural design integrity and component availability within reasonable time constraints. Material must be compliant and not contain any hazardous features or chemicals.


Software will include a Raspberry Pi, Arduino Mega, and a Ramps 1.4 for a controlled system through a graphical user interface. Interface will collect input data and convert it into 3D movement.


Safety will be a high priority for the mobile base crane project. Team Krane designed the crane within budget restrictions to have a safe functional prototype with precautionary parameters. Giving the user a secure system that will not fail mechanically or electrically during operation. An emergency cut off switch will be embedded into the main power source that will shut off the system completely if a critical issue occurs.

Project Characteristics:

Project characteristics include scope, quality, cost, resources, and time management for the mobile base crane. These features will drive project outlook, overall limits and capabilities for product development.


The scope for Team Krane is to design, development, manufacture, test, verify and validate a prototype functional mobile crane. Team Krane will also set in place a business plan and gantt chart for week to week expectations to strive for product development completion.


Crane design will be limited due to sponsored specifications that does not require a high tolerance precision crane. Project budget also limits a high-quality system being developed. Team Krane’s objective is to have a 2% error for position and velocity test for the gantry assembly. Frame design is made of Aluminum T-slot extrusion which is a durable material for this project. Steel frame would be preferable, but Aluminum gives the design a light weight structure. An Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and a Ramps 1.4 motor controller will best suite this project due to budget restrictions. A custom PCB would seem most fit for a robotic type system, giving more accuracy and appropriate current and voltage regulations. PID control with damping parameters may be further developed in next year’s capstone course.


Cost is restricted through the Mechanical Engineering department with given differential fees. Sponsor was able to grant Team Krane a total of $1,400.00 for the mobile base crane.  Multiple vendors were researched in order to cut costs for all components within the system. Some components including frame design were specifically chosen due to time restrictions and quality value but ended up having a higher cost value. After purchasing all parts for the final design, Team Krane has a remaining budget of just over $60.00.


Vendors used for this project are Amazon, 80/20, Adafruit, Misumi, Igus, MatterHackers, and Service Caster. It is important for Team Krane to receive confirmation before selecting a reliable and resourceful vendor. Team Krane and sponsor have previous work relations with all vendors selected. Vendors such as Amazon were chosen more frequently than others due to shipping lead times and easy accessibility. Vendors that do not reply within one to two weeks, were not used and therefore a different vendor was picked. Team Krane will utilize the Machine shop in Palmer to manufacture and assemble the crane. Dr. Fujioka has provided his office for storage space during development. Outside resources include soldering, welding, 3D printing, and hand/power tools.

Time management:

All team projects will be at a disadvantage to develop a working prototype within limited time. Team Krane will work diligently and have a business plan to be successful at the end of the semester. Staying ahead of each deadline will propel Team Krane to have a working prototype by innovation day. Soft deadlines will be implemented to ensure Team Krane does not fall behind in assignments and tasks.

Purpose and Consumer usefulness:

It’s crucial for Team Krane to expand the purpose of STEM education and usefulness technology to UNR Mechanical Engineering students and share our developmental process and project use.


Designing a mobile base crane will expand the teaching styles and resources of the Mechanical Design, ME351. This project usually involves working with colleagues. The purpose of this project is to encapsulate the building blocks of creating an idea and learning the process to make a working prototype. In order to make this idea possible various options was thought of, to establish a tool for students to learn. This hand-on approach will allow students to be introduce to control theory, robotics, dynamics, static and mechanical design.

Consumer usefulness:

Team Krane developed the mobile base crane where usefulness is equal to utility plus the usability. The usefulness of this product is made to be portable. Having a portable device is great when moving the equipment at multiple locations. Team Krane kept this in mind where one person can easily transport the project without the use of an another individual plus it has wheels on the bottom. This mobile base crane will transport a payload of 5 pounds or less to b1, b2, b3 directions inside the box crane. The GUI will keep track of the position and velocity at the initial and the final state. Other usefulness is to have the consumers to be engaged and being aware of STEM related fields by introducing them the mobile base crane. Consumers will learn about the interface and how to change the input positional setting via touchscreen and sending payload to a new coordinated position. This will demonstrate the usefulness of using various sets of computer languages such as C++/Python code.

Figure 1 depicts a snapshot of the SolidWorks assembly for Team Krane’s mobile base crane.




Testing and Results



Meet the Team

Tyrell Kizer

I have lived in Reno for 13 years now, and before my family landed here, I had moved 16 times in just 14 years. I have lived in every major region of the US except the northeast, and am happy to have settled in Reno. While attending UNR, I have been able to maintain a 3.8 GPA, and have become interested in systems and control theory. The most challenging engineering project I have been involved with was successfully writing a MATLAB code for aerodynamics last year that simulated an airfoil in a wind tunnel. The greatest engineering skill I have developed in my academic career is an acceptance that sometimes things do not work out on the first attempt. Sometimes multiple iterations are necessary, and it is okay to “fail” as long as a lesson is learned from it and implemented in the future. Outside of school and work, I am most proud of the success I’ve had with my gaming hobbies. I have travelled all over the west coast for both card games and tabletop wargames to compete in tournaments and routinely have high place, cash finishes in those events. Utilizing the knowledge I have gained in my schooling and applying it to everyday occurrences has been an extremely rewarding byproduct of my education. An example would be using my learning of newtonian mechanics and dynamics to understand certain exercises and how to improve my form in the gym to gain the most from them without hurting myself. My goal is to find employment at an engineering firm somewhere in the Reno/Sparks/Carson area and remain local, as I have greatly enjoyed this area since moving here. In the future it is my hope to use my social skills to find employment as a liason of sorts and periodically travel for work.


Jeremiah Avalos

My name is Jeremiah Avalos and I am a Senior at the University of Nevada, Reno. I will be graduating in the Spring 2019 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. I was born in San Jose, CA and lived in Reno for the last 15 years. The most challenging engineer project that I have been involved with would be a fully automated robotic system at my current job. I have developed a hard working attitude and work ethic through the mechanical engineer department at UNR. I have engineer industry experience for developing biomedical equipment with Hamilton Company. My biggest accomplishment outside of school is my family and their support to push me through school to receive my degree. I have applied analytical techniques to determine the shaft design parameters for fatigue and stress failure with a constant load applied.

My current goals include working hard everyday to push myself through school and to support my family. After graduation I hope to remain at my current company and continue to develop my engineering career.



Patrick Cendana

My name is Patrick Cendana and I am senior at the University of Nevada,Reno.The most challenging project is the time when I had to work with team in mech design class where we have a series of projects to do for that semester.It was successfully we came together worked on the projects. I developed the skill in FEA analysis on determining stress and strain on two pieces, the L-beam and cylindrical vessels. The years I spent at UNR I developed strong work habits. The motivation to obtain an engineering degree is my support from from family. I was born in Manilla in the Philippines. I’ve spent 13 years growing up in Bellflower,California in LA county. I currently live in Reno,Nevada for 11 years. My dream goal is to work for an automobile, aerospace and/or renewable energy company. My intermediate goal is to land a job in Reno because this place is beautiful. Furthermore after graduation I planned to stay local and  find an engineering firm.  My other option is looking for employment somewhere in the United States.




Kurt Klix

I was born and raised in the Reno/Sparks area. I started playing baseball when I was 4 years old and played all the way through my sophomore year of high school when I, unfortunately, had an arm injury taking me out of the game for the rest of my life. After baseball I turned to building and working on computers as a hobby which eventually turned into a job at Geek Squad. I recently earned my Geek Squad Agent badge for being there for 2 years. Engineering always seemed to be the path I was on. Anywhere I went I would constantly ponder how things were built or just how they worked. Fast forward to now, I am currently in the final stretch of getting my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. I have recently took an interest in Chinese language and the culture they have to offer in hopes that one day I can live in China doing something I enjoy: solving problems. My favorite accomplishment in academics would be passing the Fundamental engineering exam on the first go. The most challenging engineering project I’ve been a part of was at my internship with LSP Specialty Products during the summer of 2017. I assisted in automating multiple manufacturing processes for plumbing products and I learned a ton of things about myself and the way I tackle hard questions. I came out of the internship a smarter person and more humble in more own knowledge as well as more appreciative for engineers as a whole.


Misael Reyes Barrera

This capstone project is by far the most difficult engineering project I have tackled so far. I am hoping to apply all my skills used throughout my college career (e.g. FEA analysis, robotics actuator dynamics, strength and materials analysis). One of my favorite projects was for the introduction to robotics course.Using the computer vision skills developed during the lecture, I created a script in MatLab for image processing. Outside of school I like to use the skills I have learned in school to design keyboards for my personal use. Using solidworks I design a case to store the keyboard compartments and make sure the keyboard layout is ergonomic. I was born in Mexico and was raised in the Las Vegas, I moved to Reno to in 2015 to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. I am proud to be the first person in my family to graduate and attend college. After graduation, I plan to find a job and move back home to Las Vegas to help support my family.