Spidery Robots Weave ‘Impossible’ Carbon Fiber Structure

That's one way to build suspense

At the great conflux between two planes, the weavers met. Each, in seeming defiance of gravity, was weaving half of a bridge. The weavers were perpendicular to the ground, and on a different axis, perpendicular to each other. Clinging to the walls, they wove, and then they moved together. Mechanical bodies intersected. If they were any more lifelike, we might have called the exchange a kiss.

Created by Maria Yablonina of the University of Stuttgart, the robots pull carbon fibers together, creating a mesh suspended from rod in the corner of a wall. The weaving robots share a spool of thread, and can hand it off between electromagnetic mounts. Their bodies can grip poles and rotate themselves around, fixing the fiber in place. The end result?

A suspended hammock, built by machines on walls around just the most basic human groundwork. What’s next for wall-crawling robots? Who knows what the limits are when you can build anything a spider can.

Watch the whole process below, and read more about the robot weavers at Dezeen:

Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.