from Business Insider
Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, have developed cool drones that can weave cord into rope bridges, reports New Scientist’s Hal Hodson.
Each quadcopter drone is equipped with a spool of strong plastic cable that runs out behind it as it flies. One end of the cable can be secured by making several turns around a pole. The drones are positioned and directed autonomously from the ground by a central computer fitted with a camera that watches them as they fly. For example, to loop cables around each other, the computer directs two drones to fly through certain points at an exact time. In this way, the fleet can tie complicated knots and form large, regularly repeating patterns strung between fixed structures.
For now, these drones are only capable of building tensile structures like the one above. Ammar Mirjan, who collaborated with Augugliaro’s on the architectural side of the project, said that currently “something possible would be a structure like a bridge or a connection between existing buildings.”
Successful positioning — and, by extension, movement — is one of the key problems roboticists have to solve in order to build a worthwhile robot capable of complex tasks. Given that virtually unlimited workspace that drones have access to (the sky), that problem gets solved much more easily. And if this advantage can continue to be refined, it’s easy to imagine this evolving to the point that drones do our building for us.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-drones-could-build-bridges-2014-6#ixzz34oe2B3to
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com