Thursday, January 20, 2011

University researchers create networked flying robots that build complex structures

Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story

Imagine a future where massive, flying robots assemble complex structures like skyscrapers or houses, with all the machines working as one, coordinated through a wireless network and custom algorithm.

Granted, a similar process already takes place today on a much smaller scale, albeit guided by human pilots.

But with the potential for human error eliminated, construction times could be drastically reduced. Ultimately, a hyper-streamlined system could result in thousands of construction jobs being eliminated and a surge in urban sprawl.

Such an invention, properly scaled upward, would be simply revolutionary -- and that radical vision, scarcely imagined even in science fiction, took its first step toward becoming a reality in 2011.

University of Pennsylvania PhD candidate Daniel Mellinger, in a project by the school's GRASP Lab (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception), created a set of flying, networked robot builders that can quickly and accurately assemble structures made out of magnetic rods.

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The Black Sheep tries to warn its friends with the truth it has seen, unfortunately herd mentality kicks in for the Sheeple, and they run in fear from the black sheep and keep to the safety of their flock.

Having tried to no avail to awaken his peers, the Black Sheep have no other choice but to unite with each other and escape the impending doom.

What color Sheep are you?