Swiss scientists build bridge using autonomous drones

Now you can add construction workers to the list of workers likely to be replaced by robots if these drones have their way.

The drones, the result of a collaborative research between ETH Zurich's Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research seeks to investigate and develop methods and techniques for robotic aerial construction.

The researchers using autonomous drones, built a rope bridge between two scaffolds. The 7.4m (24ft) bridge, which is capable of supporting a human being, was built without human involvement.

To build the bridge, the quadrocopters (attached with motorized spools to control the tension on the rope) scanned the distance between the two scaffolds, then moving from end to end, looped, braided and knotted the ropes (made of Dyneema) together to build the bridge.

Dyneema is a polyethylene material with a low weight-to-strength ratio (it has been used in things like bulletproof blankets and whiteboards), of which a 4mm diameter rope is capable of supporting a 1300kg weight, was the ideal material to use for the bridge.

As the researchers note on ETH Zurich's website, "Flying machines have the advantage of being able to reach any point in space and fly in or around existing objects", but they also point out that they have drawbacks such as limited payload capacity and accuracy.

As Quartz  also observes, autonomous flying robots may be able to carry out more tasks in the future, such as inspecting power lines and building sites.

Other possible future uses include disaster relief and package delivery, though we still have to wait a while longer to see how it performs in external environments.

You can see the demo video below

Swiss scientists build bridge using autonomous drones Swiss scientists build bridge using autonomous drones Reviewed by Izuchukwu Obi on 19:07:00 Rating: 5

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