Watch Two Drones Build A Rope Bridge

Swiss researchers have released footage of two drones constructing a 7-meter-long (23-foot-long) rope bridge strong enough to support the weight of a human.

The construction of the bridge was conducted without any human assistance. The video shows the drones flying around the room, scanning the area, before they begin overlapping the rope in a pattern that forms a bridge structure between two scaffolds.

The project is the result of a collaboration between the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research, both based in Zurich, whose stated aim is to "investigate and develop methods and techniques for robotic aerial construction."

The room in which the bridge was built is the 'Flying Machine Arena', a space in Zurich devoted to testing autonomous flight machines. The drones were controlled wirelessly by algorithms, their positions determined by motion capture devices that fed positional data to the machines. The rope is made out of Dyneema, an ultra-light but super-strong material used in bullet-proof materials.

The team behind the project say that, "reliable and safe physical interaction with UAVs [drones] will be of great importance in real world applications, where robots will tightly cooperate with humans, such as, for example, on a construction site."