Roboticist Raffaello D'Andrea collaborated with architects on a new building construction technique using flying robots. A demonstration of “Flight Assembled Architecture” has just opened at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France. Four autonomous quadcopter robots are directed by a vision enabled computer system to retrieve foam bricks and place them in a predefined position forming an art exhibit. The installation consists of more than 1,500 bricks and is a 1:100 model of what the architects Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler call a "vertical village."
To keep the process moving, when a robot's battery runs low, it automatically lands on a charger and a new quadrotor takes its place. This building process takes place at 100 bricks per hour. Glue on the bottom of the bricks keeps them in place (the installation will become part of FRAC's permanent collection).
This is an interesting example of the innovative use of robotics and sensing. Currently, it could only take place indoors using fairly light materials since the robot control systems would have trouble with wind of any size, but still it is an impressive video of autonomous control.
Now you have a project to do with that helicopter sitting under the Christmas tree.