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Spider ‘Bot Weaves Towers

Remember how bluebirds helped Snow White clean an abandoned cottage in the Disney classic?

Meet Spider Drone, a quadcopter that weaves structures out of steel cables and can operate at heights unreachable by ordinary building equipment.

Developed by engineers and architects at Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology, the quadcopters spool out strong plastic cable as they fly. A computer equipped with a camera can direct them to fly through certain points and exact times to loop cables around each other or secure them to poles.

The designers envision that one day, fleets of spider drones could tie complicated knots and build bridges between skyscrapers.

Meanwhile, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have created a robotic arm that can spin a web.

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