The first thing that comes to your mind while thinking of a drone is an unmanned flying machine that takes high definition videos and images from the sky. Now imagine, if the same drones could build a bridge capable of holding your weight?"

A recent YouTube video uploaded by researcher Federico Augugliaro shows two quadrocopters autonomously assembling a rope bridge and that too, with great ease. In collaboration with the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, Augugliaro along with his research team deployed two drones connected with an anchor at two ends, creating a 120 m long bridge with 9 rope segments.

In their video description, they write that 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. In the next segment of the video, the research team tests the tensile strength of the bridge by allowing a man to walk on the bridge. It’s incredible to see the bridge built by two quadrocopters actually hold the weight of the man and the rope doesn’t break during the testing.

The research team have used computational tools to design the tensile structure. And with technology like motion capture, the machines themselves measure the distances and lengths.The commands given to the machine are controlled through an algorithm that runs on a computer and is sent through wireless infrastructure.

From 3D printers to autonomous drones that can build things, we're coming into a time where machines could be designed to handle the most dangerous, difficult tasks that we have, with no end to the potential uses. Augugliaro has mentioned in his video description that using quadrocopters for autonomously building load-bearing structures is something that hasn’t happened before and his team being the first one to do so.