Tag Archives: professional applications

Multirotors autonomously build complex wall – The “Flight Assembled Architecture” installation

The research group of the Institute for Dynamics Systems and Control, led by Raffaello D’Andrea at the ETH of Zurich, in collaboration with a team of architects led by Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler, presented an installation in which a swarm of quadcopters autonomously pick up sequentially 1500 foam bricks (500 gr each) and position them at the right place to build a  6-meter tall tower with a sophisticated shape.

The "FAA Tower" - Source
The “FAA Tower” – Source

Continue reading Multirotors autonomously build complex wall – The “Flight Assembled Architecture” installation

Kitchen Drones in action – Multirotors support in running a restaurant

ArchAerial, a young company that specializes in the use of multirotors for mapping purposes, with a focus on archeological research and excavation sites, has published an interesting video on the possible uses of quadcopters in a restaurant environment , in collaboration with Swift’s Attic, a nice restaurant apparently open to innovation and new technologies, located in Austin Texas.

The original quadcopter design by ArchAerial, with folding arms. The parts have been manifactured by 3D printing - Source
The original quadcopter design by ArchAerial, with folding arms. The parts have been manifactured by 3D printing – Source

In the video, the little custom made multicopters from ArchAerial are shown performing a variety of tasks such as serving at the table:

Archaerial drone serving at Swift's Attic restaurant - Screenshot from video below
Archaerial drone serving at Swift’s Attic restaurant – Screenshot from video below

slicing vegetables:

Drone slicing vegetables in the kitchen
Drone slicing vegetables in the kitchen

Continue reading Kitchen Drones in action – Multirotors support in running a restaurant

French trains company SNCF is starting to experiment with drones for safety and inspection purposes

An inspection of the railroad “viaduc ferroviaire de Roquemaure” located between Orange (Vaucluse) and Roquemaure (Gard), that hosts the high speed Paris-Marseille connection was carried out recently. Normally, these inspections take place at night and all train traffic has to be suspended for the duration of the operations.

This time however, the inspection was carried out in daytime, with a train passing about every 5 minutes. The secret of this special inspection is the usage of a quadcopter, deployed by diades.

Quadcopter used for SNCF inspection
Quadcopter used for SNCF inspection – image source

This SNCF inspector drone could in principle perform the following tasks:

– take photos and video of railroads and other SNCF infrastructures to detect points of failure and other weaknesses requiring maintainance

– sites and infrastructure surveillance to prevent thefts, such as for example of copper wires, which are quite common

diades drone – image source

The actual use of drones in such tasks, in particular the surveillance related ones, will not come before a few years (3-4) as it still requires research and development. SNCF is planning to invest in this direction, as drone technology, when fully operational, should lead to an increased efficiency and lower costs.

Le nouvau drone-inspecteur de la SNCF by 20Minutes

Sources: Le Figaro20 minutes.fr

Who wants to fly drones in the US

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released a list of entities that have applied for permission to fly drones – source. The status of the applications (whether they were accepted or not) was not released, despite the EFF had asked for this information.

Interestingly, the list contains a number of authorities, sheriff’s offices but also several Universities. This fits well with the very diverse tasks you can accomplish with those flying machines. It looks kind of strange to me that the National Aeronautics & Space Administration has to ask FAA for a permission to fly something, I would guess anybody has to.

Here’s the list:


1 Arlington PoliceDepartment  (Texas)
2 Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (California)
3 California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
4 California State University, Fresno
5 Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho)
6 City of Herington (Kansas)
7 City of Houston, TX Police Department
8 City of North Little Rock, AR ‐ Police Department
9 Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Oregon)
10 Cornell University
11 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
12 Department of Energy  ‐ Oak Ridge National Laboratory
13 Department of Homeland Security  ‐  Science and Technology
14 Department of Homeland Security  ‐ Customs and Border Protection
15 Department of the Interior ‐ National Business Center/Aviation Management Directorate
16 Eastern Gateway Community College
17 Federal Bureau of Investigation
18 Gadsden Police Department (Alabama)
19 Georgia Tech Police Department, Office of Emergency Preparedness
20 Georgia Tech Research Institute
21 Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota)
22 Hays County Emergency Service Office (Texas)
23 Indiana State University
24 Kansas State University
25 King County Sheriff’s Office (Washington)
26 Lorain County Community College
27 Medina County Sheriff Office (Ohio)
28 Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (Colorado)
29 Miami‐Dade Police Department (Florida)
30 Middle Georgia College
31 Middle Tennessee State University
32 Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
33 Mississippi State University
34 Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (Texas)
35 National Aeronautics & Space Administration
36 National Institute of Standards and Technology
37 National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
38 New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
39 New Mexico State University  ‐ Physical Science Laboratory
40 Nicholls State University
41 Northwestern Michigan College
42 Ogden Police Department (Utah)
43 Ohio Department of Transportation
44 Ohio University
45 Orange County Sheriff’s Office (Florida)
46 Oregon State University 7 Otter Tail County (Minnesota)
48 Pennsylvania StateUniversity
49 Polk County Sheriff’s Office (Florida)
50 Seattle Police Department (Washington)
51 Sinclair Community College
52 Texas A&M University (TAMU) ‐ Corpus Christi
53 Texas A&M University (TAMU) ‐ Texas Engineering Experiment Station
54 Texas Department of Public Safety
55 Texas State University
56 U.S. Air Force
57 U.S. Army
58 U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service
59 U.S. Department of Agriculture ‐ Forest Service
60 U.S. Department of Energy  ‐ Idaho National Laboratory
61 U.S. Department of Energy  ‐ National Energy Technology Laboratory
62 U.S. Department of Justice  ‐ Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff
63 U.S. Department of State
64 U.S. Marine Corps
65 U.S. Navy
66 University of Alaska, Fairbanks
67 University of Arizona
68 University of California, Davis
69 University of California, Merced
70 University of Colorado, Boulder
71 University of Connecticut
72 University of Florida
73 University of Michigan
74 University of North Dakota
75 University of Oklahoma
76 University of Wisconsin
77 Utah State University
78 Virginia Commonwealth University
79 Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
80 Washington State Department of Transportation
81 West Virginia University