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Thread: Aerial Construction, building structures with flying machines

  1. #1

    Aerial Construction, building structures with flying machines

    Contributors:

    Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control

    Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication

    idsc.ethz.ch/research-dandrea/research-projects/aerial-construction.html

    gramaziokohler.arch.ethz.ch/web/e/forschung/240.html

    This work is supported by and builds upon prior contributions by numerous collaborators in the Flying Machine Arena project.

  2. #2


    Building a rope bridge with flying machines

    Published on Sep 18, 2015

    Building a rope bridge with flying machines in the ETH Zurich Flying Machine Arena.

    The video shows quadrocopters autonomously assembling a rope bridge. This is part of a body of research in aerial construction, a field that addresses the construction of structures with the aid of flying machines.

    In this work, a rope bridge that can support the crossing of a person is built by quadrocopters, showing for the ?rst time that small ?ying machines are capable of autonomously realizing load-bearing structures at full-scale and proceeding a step further towards real-world scenarios. Except for the required anchor points at both ends of the structure, the bridge consists exclusively of tensile elements and its connections and links are entirely realized by ?ying machines. Spanning 7.4 m between two scaffolding structures, the bridge consists of nine rope segments for a total rope length of about 120 m and is composed of different elements, such as knots, links, and braids. The rope used for these experiments is made out of Dyneema, a material with a low weight-to-strength ratio and thus suitable for aerial construction. Of little weight (7 g per meter), a 4 mm diameter rope can sustain 1300 kg.

    The vehicles are equipped with a motorized spool that allows them to control the tension acting on the rope during deployment. A plastic tube guides the rope to the release point located between two propellers. The external forces and torques exerted on the quadrocopter by the rope during deployment are estimated and taken into account to achieve compliant ?ight behavior. The assembly of the bridge is performed by small custom quadrocopters and builds upon the Flying Machine Arena, a research and demonstration platform for aerial robotics. The arena is equipped with a motion capture system that provides vehicle position and attitude measurements. Algorithms are run on a computer and commands are then sent to the ?ying machines via a customized wireless infrastructure.

    In order to be able to design tensile structures that are buildable with flying robots, a series of computational tools have been developed, specifically addressing the characteristics of the building method. The design tools allow to simulate, sequence, and evaluate the structure before building.

    The location of the scaffolding structure is manually measured before starting the construction. The primary and bracing structure can then be realized without human intervention. Before realizing the stabilizers, the locations of the narrow openings of the bridge are measured and input to the system, which adapts the trajectories accordingly.

    * Credits
    Aerial construction is a collaboration between the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2015

    * Researchers
    Federico Augugliaro, Ammar Mirjan, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler, and Raffaello D'Andrea

    * With contributions from
    Maximilian Schulz, Marc-Andre Corzillius, Michael Egli, Gregy Huber, Timon Winkler, Emanuele Zarfati, Mina Kamel, Gregory B?ttig, Alexander Selwa, Evan Wilson, and Augusto Gandia
    Article "Watch flying machines weave a rope bridge you can walk on"

    by Hallie Siegel
    September 18, 2015

  3. #3


    Drones can "weave structures in space in just a few minutes"

    Published on Dec 30, 2015

    Architect Ammar Mirjan explains how drones with cable dispensers attached can be used to quickly build lightweight architectural structures.

    Drones can be a valuable new tool in construction, Mirjan claims, "widening the spectrum of what is possible" in architecture.

    "We can fly [drones] through and around existing objects, which a person couldn't do or a crane couldn't do," he explains.

    Mirjan is part of Gramazio Kohler Research, the ETH Z?rich-based research division of Swiss architecture firm Gramazio Kohler Architects.

    Together with roboticist Raffaello D'Andrea's research group at ETH Z?rich's Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, Gramazio Kohler Research is investigating how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be programmed to "weave" simple tensile structures in the air.

    "We are actually attaching cable dispensers onto the machines and they are weaving structures in space," he explains. "In just a few minutes you can weave a structure and connect it to existing elements."

    The experiments have so far been confined to a laboratory environment. However, Mirjan believes it will soon be possible to start building structures with drones in the public realm.

    "We are currently working in the lab, but I think something that would be interesting to do in the near future is to build a structure outside," he says. "For example, to build a temporary structure over a canyon or a river."

  4. #4


    Drones can collaborate to build architectural structures

    Published on Apr 22, 2016

    Architect and researcher Ammar Mirjan explains how drones could be programmed to construct buildings in the first of two movies about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in architecture.

    In 2012, Swiss architecture firm Gramazio Kohler Architects and roboticist Raffaello D’Andrea collaborated with ETH Z?rich to program a fleet of drones to lift and stack thousands of polystyrene bricks at the FRAC Centre in Orl?ans, France.
    "Drones can "collaborate to build architectural structures"

    by Ben Hobson
    March 3, 2015

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