Built in 2011, this autonomous art installation possesses powerful implications. It shows the power of drone technology – but more so – the power of this technology not in the hands of the US military or the CIA destroying something, but in the hands of students creating something.
The information accompanying the video included the following explanation:
The installation, called “Flight Assembled Architecture”, was conceived and built by teams led by my colleagues Fabio Gramazio & Matthias Kohler as well as Raffaello D’Andrea at the ETH Zurich. It illustrates a radically new way of thinking about materializing architecture: Use a multitude of mobile flying agents working in parallel and acting together as a scalable production means. As you can see in the video, the quadrocopters are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble small modules in order to erect a building.
The tower is actually a 1:100 model of a “vertical village” with a height of 600 meters and housing 30’000 inhabitants. To learn more about the technology (control architecture, collision avoidance and freeway based flight, prick placement, safety systems, etc.) and architectural aspects (geographic location, transit times, access plans, structural and wind tunnel analysis, etc.), have a look at idsc.ethz.ch.
An informed and technologically literate population can take terrifying and monopolized technology, democratize it and do incredibly uplifting accomplishments with it, literally.
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