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Autonomous drones work together to build a bridge

Quadcopters team up to build a rope bridge in the ETH Zurich Flying Machine Arena.

A motion capture system collects information about each drone’s position and attitude, feeding it into computers that then send commands back to the drones.

The motion capture system can locate multiple objects in the space at rates exceeding 200 frames per second. While this may seem extremely fast, the objects in the space can move at speeds in excess of 10 m/s, resulting in displacements of over 5 cm between successive snapshots. This information is fused with other data and models of the system dynamics to predict the state of the objects into the future.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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