Sunday 17 February 2013

[Video] Not just weapons of destruction: How drones are being used to help build the skyscrapers of the future which could house more than 30,000 people

While the use of drones by the US military continues to provoke controversy over claims they’ve been used to killed countless innocent victims, other more positive uses for the technology are also being developed. In Switzerland a firm of architects is using drones to help develop an entirely new type of architectural structure that could develop into the skyscrapers of the future. The ‘Flight Assembled Architecture’ project has been developed by architects Gramazio & Kohler in collaboration with Raffaello D’Andrea, Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Their concept includes developing small robotic ‘quadrocopters’ to build complex cylindrical towers which they believe could stand more than 600 meters tall and house 30,000 inhabitants.
The drones would operate semi-autonomously and be capable of communicating with one another and independently sensing the height of the tower to place their block accordingly, reports A prototype of the structure and the drones has been created at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France using model drones programmed to lift 1,500 foam blocks into a complex cylindrical tower standing more than six meters high. As these images by François Lauginie show the model drones and towers offer a potentially innovative solution for creating high-rise buildings in urban areas where construction can be incredibly difficult and costly.

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