Flying Robot Builder

Flying robots at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France, have built a nearly 20-foot-tall structure based on blueprints designed by Swiss architects Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler, with assistance from Zurich roboticist and professor Raffaello D’Andre. The tower was built by four quadrocopters –worker-bee-like mobile flying machines that use four rotors for better agility–that were programmed to lift, carry, and assemble 1,500 polystyrene foam bricks to complete the design. First, the robots grab foam bricks from a special brick dispenser on the ground. To grip bricks, a specialized gripper was developed. This gripper uses three, servo-powered pins to puncture and hold the brick. Next the quadcopters receive the exact coordinates of where the bricks should go based on a detailed digital blueprint of the tower. The robots fly autonomously, but they get help from the environment: The ceiling of the room where the assembly is taking place was equipped with a motion-capture system. A computer uses the vision data to keep track of the quadcopters and tell them where to go. This radical approach to construction can potentially lead to more design freedom. As construction technology advances, it changes our culture of designing architecture. Not only this can potentially build more efficiently and precisely than traditional way, it can also open a door to a new poetic aspects architecture and construction.

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Original sources:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/diy/video-watch-# ying-robots-build-a-6-meter-tower
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665592/% rst-time-ever-# ying-robots-build-20-foot-tall-tower-video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvN9Ri1GmuY

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