These 3-D Printing Drones Could Alter the Future of Construction

Drone with a camera in the sky
Drones,
paired
with
3-D
printing
technology,
could
autonomously
carry
out
building
projects.

Thomas
Ehrhardt
via
Pixabay

Future
construction
sites
could
look
vastly
different
due
to
new,
flying
3-D
printing
technology.
As
opposed
to
plots
of
land
packed
with
workers
in
neon-colored
vests
and
goggles,
these
developments
might
one
day
be
loaded
with
drones
that
are
3-D
printing
new
buildings.

A
group
of
engineers
from
across
the
globe
have
designed
a
team
of
flying
robots
with
the
ability
to
create
structures
while
hovering
in
the
air.
These
drones
open
up
the
possibility
for
construction
projects
to
exist
in
areas
that
would
otherwise
be
out
of
reach,
according
to
research
published
Wednesday
in


Nature
.

Inspired
by
insects
like
bees
and
wasps
that
utilize
collective
construction
techniques,
the
research
team
employed
a
first-of-its-kind
swarm
of
3-D-printing
drones
that
navigate
on
their
own
and
deposit
construction
materials.

“We’ve
proved
the
concept
that
drones
can
work
autonomously
and
in
tandem
to
construct
and
repair
buildings,
at
least
in
the
lab,”

Mirko
Kovac
,
head
of
the
materials
and
technology
center
of
robotics
at
Swiss
research
institute

Empa

and
co-leader
of
the
research,
says
in
a

statement
.
“This
scalable
solution
could
help
construction
and
repair
in
difficult-to-reach
areas,
like
tall
buildings.”

3-D
printing,
also
known
as
additive
manufacturing,
is

already
used

to
enhance
the
efficiency
and
safety
of
some
construction
projects,
according
to
the
research.
However,
the
large
size
of
current
3-D
printing
technology
as
well
as
the
fact
that
this
equipment
is
typically
connected
to
a
stationary
power
supply
limits
these
machines’
ability
to
build
in
hostile
environments
that
may
be
difficult
to
access.

To
bypass
these
limitations,
the
proposed
technology
uses
two
types
of
aerial
drones
that
work
together.
The
“BuilDrone”
utilizes
a
depositing
nozzle
to
unload
physical
building
materials
and
the
“ScanDrone”
observes
and
analyzes
its
counterpart’s
depositing
operations.

“These
solutions
can
actually
be
very
cost-effective,
efficient
and
provide
a
whole
new
way
of
working
that
otherwise
is
quite
prohibitive
using
normal
techniques,”

Vijay
Pawar
,
a
study
co-author
and
computer
science
researcher
at
University
College
London
in
England,
told


The
Daily
Beast
’s

Maddie
Bender.

Within
the
study,
researchers
illustrated
proof
of
concept
through
the
drones’
ability
to
work
together
to
construct
cylinders
made
from
insulation
foam
and
cement-like
materials.
The
first
of
these
towers
stood
nearly
seven
feet
tall,
and
the
second
measured
just
seven
inches,
per


New
Scientist
’s

Jeremy
Hsu. The
team’s
simulations
highlighted
the
possibility
of
building
larger,
more
holistic
structures
with
the
use
of
up
to
15
robots.

As
this
technology
continues
to
develop,
the
researchers
hope
it
will
unlock
construction
abilities
in
isolated
areas
or
emergency
situations.
The
aerial
drones
could
help
build
housing
and
infrastructure
where
“unprecedented
increases
in
the
frequency
of
natural
disasters
and
the
hostility
of
climatic
conditions
render
existing
approaches
to
building
challenging,”
the
authors
write.

Down
the
line,
the
drones
could
3-D
print
temporary
homes
for
displaced
people
or
make
repairs
to
infrastructure
during
a
blackout,
reports

The
Daily
Beast
.
In
a
distant
future,
the
researchers
envision
their
robots
buzzing
around
Mars,
per
the
statement.

Rahul
Pranat,
a
mechanical
engineering
researcher
at
Carnegie
Mellon
University
not
involved
with
the
study,
tells

The
Daily
Beast

that
the
research
speaks
to
developments
in
3-D
printing
and
robotics
technologies.
“[Aerial
robots]
would
remove
roadblocks
to
many
applications
of
3-D
printing
and
go
beyond
the
limits
of
current
technologies,”
he
says
to
the
publication.

Still,
Pranat
adds
that
the
manufacturing
and
robotics
technology
needs
improvement
before
a
group
of
drones
can
realistically
be
used
in
full-scale
construction
projects.

Researchers
will
continue
trials
of
the
technology
before
it
will
be
available
to
be
contracted
for
large-scale
construction.

With
the
help
of
these
drones
that
have
the
power
to
make
choices
throughout
the
building
process,
future
architects
will
have
the
opportunity
to
alter
building
designs
in
the
middle
of
construction
and
adapt
their
projects
to
complex
environments,
says
study
co-leader

Robert
Stuart-Smith
,
a
3-D
printing
researcher
at
the
University
of
Pennsylvania
and
University
College
London
in
England,
to

The
Daily
Beast
.

“We’ve
demonstrated
the
first-ever
robots
that
are
3-D
printing
in-flight,
and
it’s
a
pretty
amazing
achievement,”
he
tells
the
publication.

Artikel ini diambil dari https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/these-3d-printing-drones-could-alter-the-future-of-construction-180980831/

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