A couple of quadrotors wove a bridge out of polyethylene fiber rope in an intricate dance. Some 120 meters of rope were used by the quadrotors to bridge the 7.4-meter gap, neatly tying knots, links, and braiding. Ultimately, the final test was passed after an ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control student crossed the robot-manufactured bridge.
Inspired by quadcopters and airplanes alike, NASA engineered made the best of both worlds and designed a 10-engine electric craft that can hover like a drone, but also cruise like a plane. Called Greased Lightning or GL-10, the craft is allegedly four times more efficient than a helicopter in cruise mode, while also retaining vertical take off capabilities.