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Drones Autonomously Build a Bridge, So the Robot Army Never Has to Stop

In the future war against the machines, humans might have gained a brief respite by powering through the flowing rivers where electronic killer robots cannot tread. These bridge-building quadrotors have now closed off that avenue of escape.

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The pair of drones you can see in the video use a spool of rope - about 120m between the two of them — to construct a rope bridge across a seven-metre gap, capable of supporting a human. The drones were able to scan the gap, work out the structure, and do their weird robo-rope-dance all without any human intervention.

Sure, it requires the perfect anchor at either end (and some very complicated programming), but more than anything else, it’s an impressive demonstration of the kinds of complex structures two drones can weave, knot and braid with nothing more than a spool of rope. Yep, we’re all doomed.

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[ETH Zurich]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.

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DISCUSSION

mn-river-man
mn-river-man

Seems like there is probably a more efficient way of tying the rope off at the ends than the wrapping technique they are using. A piton on one end, maybe a clip carabiner on the other or something. Would save a lot of paracord. Slightly more complex code, but that is a one time effort.