Depending on who you are, drones truly are either the most fascinating or the most troubling thing that science has created in years. The concept of unmanned, flying drones able to successfully build a sturdy rope bridge between two anchor points is entirely practical for things like military operations or search-and-rescue. However, if there was a chance that these drones, or any other hi-tech creations we’ve seen developed recently, could become sentient it would mean Skynet or OHMYGODHERETHEYCOME…
In all seriousness, though, the video above may not seem interesting on its face, but knowing that this is a test of very complex autonomous action, and not human piloting skills, it is pretty remarkable.
The video above is part of a study conducted at ETH Zurich. According to their website, the study was looking to “investigate and develop methods and techniques for robotic aerial construction.” The project sounds simple enough, but it involved unmanned aerial drones that would have to interact with their environment and calculate for themselves how to design and construct a structure like a bridge. That means some form of self-generated thought and action capability. Take a moment, let it sink in.
Add in the fact that scientists have already been toying with semi-self-aware artificial intelligence, and it’s not hard to understand why Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk fear A.I. will be our undoing. Even experts in the field of robotics are publishing terrifying stories of how robots could realistically destroy us in the near future. See? All the pieces put into one big pile really can make one nervous. Why didn’t we listen to James Cameron when we had the chance!?
But honestly, what do you think of these awesome little builder-bots? Let us know in the comments below.