Scientists have developed a special fleet of 3D printers that can fly like drones and assist in building and repairing structures while in the air, ushering in what might be the next stage of civil engineering. The technique, which was inspired by bees, aims to enable construction and production in inhospitable, isolated, and hazardous regions.
Scientists aim to integrate 3D printing technology into the contemporary building and maintenance industry as it advances at a rapid rate and finds applications in practically every part of life. They adopted the same strategy employed by bees and wasps to create these flying printers that resemble drones.
The specifics of the technology, which uses a team of aerial robots inspired by naturally occurring builders like wasps who use collective building methods, have been published in the journal Nature under the name aerial Additive Manufacturing (Aerial-AM).
The report stated, ‘We provide a scalable multi-robot 3D printing and path-planning system that enables robot duties and population size to be adjusted to fluctuations in print geometry throughout a building mission.’
The drones, which were created by academics from Imperial College London and Empa researchers, cooperate and follow an unified plan while modifying their tactics as they go.
Despite being created to operate independently, they are nonetheless watched over by a human controller who checks on progress and intervenes as needed based on the data the drones offer.