Okay, to be fair, the tower that the robots constructed was only 20 feet high and made only of bricks, but considering the pace that technology develops these days, it’s only a matter of time before Burj Khalifa-type skyscrapers are being built with these things.
The demo of these flying robot construction workers took place in a warehouse-esque art gallery called FRAC, just outside of Paris. This is more of an art installation than viable way of constructing buildings for human use, though it is interesting nevertheless.
We learned of this amazing and oddly creepy demonstration via National Public Radio’s website. Awesome radio show host Robert Krulwich wrote about the Parisian robo-workers on his science blog “Krulwich Wonders” and since he always explains things so well, we’ll let him handle the tough stuff:
“As humans (none of them, I presume, in the construction trades) applauded and gaped, four helicopterish thingies swooped through the air, somehow avoiding each other, and one by one, settled on some “brick dispensers.” Using small plungers they then plucked one brick at a time, carried each to the “building site” and slowly created a wall. It took a few days, but what emerged is a twisting, undulating tower, designed by Swiss architects Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler.”
Thanks Robert! Here’s a photo of the “undulating tower” in question:
And there you have it, the first art installation built using flying machines. As Krulwich rightly points out in his blog post, the day when machines like this construct a high-rise building is years or possibly generations away, but this may be our first glimpse of a technology that many would have thought of as science fiction only a decade ago.