Architecture

Flying robots to build a 6-meter tower

Flying robots to build a 6-met...
France's FRAC Center will be hosting an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
France's FRAC Center will be hosting an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
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France's FRAC Center will be hosting an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
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France's FRAC Center will be hosting an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
"Flying Machine Arena" was developed by D'Andrea (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
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"Flying Machine Arena" was developed by D'Andrea (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
Flying robots will construct a 6 meter (19.7 foot) high tower (image: FRAC Centre)
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Flying robots will construct a 6 meter (19.7 foot) high tower (image: FRAC Centre)
Each quadrocopter is fitted with custom electronics and onboard sensors (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
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Each quadrocopter is fitted with custom electronics and onboard sensors (image: Raffaello D'Andrea)
The FRAC Center will for the first time host an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots (image: FRAC Centre)
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The FRAC Center will for the first time host an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots (image: FRAC Centre)
The tower will be constructed within a 10 x 10 x 10 meter (32.8 x 32.8 x 32.8 foot) airspace (image: FRAC Centre)
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The tower will be constructed within a 10 x 10 x 10 meter (32.8 x 32.8 x 32.8 foot) airspace (image: FRAC Centre)
Flying robots in action (image: FRAC Centre)
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Flying robots in action (image: FRAC Centre)
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The FRAC Centre in Orléans, France will for the first time host an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots. Titled "Flight Assembled Architecture," the six meter-high tower will be made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules. The exhibition has been developed by Swiss architect Gramazio & Kohler and Italian robot designer Raffaello D'Andrea, to inspire new methods of thinking about architecture as a "physical process of dynamic formation."

The installation involves a fleet of quadrocopters that are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble the final tower, all the time receiving commands wirelessly from a local control room. The tower, which will boast a height of 6 meters (19.7 feet) and a diameter of 3.5 meters (11.5 feet), will be constructed within a 10 x 10 x 10 meter (32.8 x 32.8 x 32.8 foot) airspace, in which up to 50 vehicles can be tracked simultaneously at a rate of 370 frames per second with millimeter accuracy. This "Flying Machine Arena" was developed by D'Andrea, and features a state-of-the-art motion capture system.

Each quadrocopter is fitted with custom electronics and onboard sensors to allow for precision vehicle control, whilst also providing the opportunity for pre-programmed flight paths, which could include arcs and spirals. Furthermore, the fleet management technology helps avoid collisions by taking over when the flying robots get too close to each other. The same technology is also used for automating routine take-offs, landings and vehicle calibration and charging.

The Flight Assembled Architecture exhibition will be on display at the FRAC Centre from December 2 through to February 19, 2012.

Check out D'Andrea's Flying Machine Arena and the impressive quadrocopter moves in the video below.

Source: Dezeen

Fast Transitions of a Quadrocopter Fleet Using Convex Optimization

View gallery - 7 images
7 comments
Carlos Grados
What would you do with your own swarm?
Oztechi
That video at the end was great to watch and really shows what is possible using quadrocopters in a choreographed pattern of movement. I look forward to seeing what others can do with these quadrocopters.
Firehawk70
Don\'t people watch The Terminator or The Matrix? We are going to be the death of ourselves when the machines go sentient.
Graeme Harrison
Yes, Firehawk70, it is not too much of a stretch of the imagination to see these as a \'multiple drone attack\', with individual machines switching places to take up the attack, faster than one can aim at the first one....
Gregg Eshelman
Will the pieces lock together? What if it falls down before it\'s completed? Will the system be able to cleanup the mess and recover? The pictures make me want to say JENGA!
Captain Danger
That was cool! I got a remote controlled helicopter for Christmas a few years back. I could barely get the thing hover. 50 helicopters, 370 frames per second and millimeter accuracy. These guys have done a lot of work. I wonder what kind of computer system they have behind this. They are some really talented developers. Well done
SpaceBagels
If only we have a non polluting and highly efficient drive and power systems that would make it scalable for real life building applications...