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Bridge Construction Made By Drones

Quadrocopters to Substitute Human Effort in Bridge Construction?


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As if manpower is not enough to construct a bridge – engineers are now taking the help of drones to do the task. Bridge construction made by drones!

Engineers have found out that there are several advantages of using a drone in place of conventional machineries of construction. These flying objects can reach out to any place in the air and fly around any specified objects.

Source: Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

Quadrocopters were used to assemble the rope bridge that would support a person cross it. This is the prototype that shows that small flying machines can gauge the load-bearing structures at full-scale too thereby proceeding towards a real-world scenario.

Source: Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

The bridge has been constructed with extremely tensile elements except for the anchor that sticks out at both ends of the structure. The links and connections of the bridge are accomplished by the quadrocopters.

The quirky-looking rope bridge constructed by another quirky object of construction has a length of 7.4 meters. It has nine rope segments with a total length of rope at around 120 m. The rope comprises of different elements like links, braids, and knots.

The drone has a reel inside it to control the tension that is operating on the rope during the disposition. The rope that had been the part of the experiment was made up of Dyneema. This material is extremely suitable for construction having low-weight-to-strength ratio.

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This awesome project is being considered as a step towards the robotic aerial construction. The question is how can the drones be controlled?

There is an off-board computer that runs the algorithms and sends the required information to the drones through a customized wireless infrastructure. At the beginning of the construction, the location of the scaffolding is measured and inserted into the system. As soon as the anchor points towards its place and the ropes have been placed, the drone starts with its construction automatically.

Definitely, this is one step towards saying goodbye to scaffolding.

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