A compliance control system is designed for wire suspended systems. The kinematic and static characteristics of the systems are analyzed and a rigid manipulator model with some virtual springs at the tip is derived. After showing that both position controllers and force controllers are needed for compliance control of a suspended object, a way to design each controller is described. A compliance controller for a prototype crane with three wires is designed and the crane is used for automatic assembly and cooperation between the crane and a position-controlled industrial robot. The experimental results verify the effectiveness of the compliance controller.