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Future Tech: 

Need a bridge built? There’s a drone for that

drone-bridge-1

Drones have been a buzzword for a while now – whether they’re delivering your favorite pizza or changing the world of photography – but the pace of evolution doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Whatever you think about drones, it appears as though they’ve taken one of their biggest and perhaps most useful steps to date; building bridges.

This isn’t to say that a drone will be able to fix your relationship problems or help you and your former best friend kiss and make up. No. This is the impressive process of building a fully functional, 7.4-meter bridge – one strong enough to take the weight of a human.

The project is collaboration between Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control along with Gramazio Kohler Research, citing the ultimate goal as an investigation into developing methods and techniques for robotic aerial construction.

So how did it all come about? A duo of flying quadcopters used some very strong Dyneema rope to build the magnificent bridge. The drones receive commands wirelessly from a computer which is running an algorithm that calculates the precise flying trajectories.

Though this is all mightily impressive, there are still certain tasks that the drones cannot carry out by themselves. The key measurements still have to be figured out manually by the researchers. The drones also can’t build the scaffolding which the ropes eventually attach to.

But let’s give them a break. After all, it’s a great sign of things to come in terms of drone development, and another example of how drones can go a long way to help some of the biggest industries in the world, in this case, construction.

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