Long gone are the days in which quad copters and other drones were supposed to be nothing more than surveillance robots as they are being put to more and more unconventional uses. This pair of quadcopters has added to the list of operational capacities of drones. In a Youtube video by researcher Federico Augugliaro, two drones make a rope bridge to be used by humans in case of an emergency and other quick-fix tasks. It wasn’t a one-man show, since Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research were actively involved in the design of the four-engine choppers as well as the bridge’s design itself.
Many of the new techniques and approaches were derived from the various tests at Flying Machine Arena in Zurich, Switzerland. The test room consisted of a high-precision motion capture system, a wireless communication network and uses custom designed and controlled software that executes complex algorithms for the building of the bridge. It might seem simple, but the bridge is actually very difficult to achieve into reality as actual humans need to place their feet right and navigate through it without the ropes snapping in between. Various computational formulas and processes were also used to construct the bridge. Each of the drones is equipped with a motorized tool and plastic tubes that allow it to use to Dyneema, a high-strength, low weight rope that is is deemed suitable for aerial construction.