On December 2 in Orléans, France, a crew of four quadrocopters assembled a six-meter-tall tower using 1,500 foam blocks as part of the FRAC Centre's "Flight Assembled Architecture" exhibit. The project was a collaboration was helmed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, whose researchers had previously taught these flying machines to juggle ping-pong balls.


Using motion capture technology, these autonomous flying robots assembled a 1:100 model of a 600-meter tall "vertical village" arcology designed to house 30,000 inhabitants. Explains Professor Raffaello D'Andrea of the building process:

To coordinate flying and avoid collisions, the vehicles use two freeways that encircle the structure. Usage of the freeways is controlled by a space-reservation system, whereby each vehicle reserves the space required for a trajectory before the trajectory is flown. This space is then unreserved once the trajectory is completed. This system ensures that while a space is reserved, only the reserving flying vehicle has access – all other vehicles must wait before flying through this space.

And here's a video of some behind-the-scenes work at the exhibit. It will only be a matter of time before these quadrotors begin wolf-whistling at passing automobiles.


[Via The Verge]