You may not think that the ability to balance, hop, or cling to a vertical surface would be useful traits for a robot in an automation or manufacturing sector, but the more complex designers make robots the more creative applications are available for a variety of different industries. Discovery News recently listed their Top 10 Robot Talents in an article by Alyssa Danigelis. My favorite? The ability to build while flying —
Construction robots and ones that fly aren’t all that unusual, but it took a group of roboticists and architects to put those two skills together. The result is a team of “robotic quadrocopters” that cooperated to construct a 20-foot tower from lightweight foam packaging blocks.
The robots were built by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich roboticists and Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler. They used a platform they called the “Flying Machine Arena” which allowed them to test fast-paced motions on the ground and in the air.
Working in tandem from a blueprint along trajectories that avoided collisions with each other and the building structure, the quadrocopters gripped the foam bricks and quickly flew each one into place.
“It’s a first,” Howard said. “It makes sense.” The Flying Machine project is one of those things, she added, that makes us go, “Why didn’t we think about this before?”
Which of those ten traits do you find most impressive? What new applications can you see for these robotic skills?