In the field of construction, it is sometimes difficult to reach certain places at height. We need to use a crane and install scaffolding. For facilitate the work of workersscientists had the idea of creating a drone system inspired by bees. These drones are capable of make 3D prints.
This new technology is called Aerial-AM or Aerial Additive Manufacturingand it was developed by researchers from Imperial College London and the Empa Institute in Switzerland. The system consists of two types of quadcopter drones which can fly autonomously and communicate with each other.
The two types of drones
The first type of drones making up the Aerial-AM system are called BuildDrones. These work following a shared digital plan. They work together to build the structure by depositing successive layers of material using an applicator nozzle. This beak can move laterally relative to the drone to compensate for any unintended movement of the device.
The second type of drones are called ScanDrones. Their role is to oversee the printing process. They also evaluate the geometry of the structure during construction. It is the observations of the ScanDrones that guide the BuilDrones on the steps to follow.
According to the designers of the system, it currently has a manufacturing accuracy of plus or minus 5 mm. The system has been designed to operate autonomously, however, a human operator remains nearby to intervene manually when necessary. Drones can use various materials like cement or polyurethane foam.
A revolution in construction
They have proven the concept that drones can work autonomously and in tandem for the construction and repair of buildings. For him, this scalable solution could help build and repair in hard-to-reach areas like skyscrapers.
In the not too distant future, we could thus see a swarm of drones constructing a building without the help of any human worker. It will be a revolution in the construction sector.