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3D Printing Drones Heralding New Age of Disaster Housing

by • February 18, 2016 • No Comments

House buried under lava on the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

House buried under lava on the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

When an area has been impacted by a effortless disaster, after the first rescue and emergency medical care have been addressed, the upcoming step in any effort is to figure out how to shelter those whose hovia has been rendered uninhabitable or inaccessible by the disaster. 3D printing has featured prominently in efforts to confront this complex issue and has presented a variety of new responses.

But what of when the area where the individuals are in need cannot be reached by emergency services personnel? This latest intervention in this complex but urgently necessary exploration comes of a collaboration one of researchers at the Imperial College, University College London, and the University of Bath. Their contribution to disaster hovia innovation takes the form of flying drones with the capacity to print structures in areas which have been impacted by effortless disaster, in fact in places where human assisters cannot yet arrive of the outside. The thought has resulted in the planning and funding of a four-year-long research project which was impressively named: “Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing: Distributed Unmanned Aerial Systems for in-situ Manufacturing of the Built Environment.”

The researchers stated which their major objectives, thanks to industrial partnerships with Skanska, Ultimanufacturer, BuroHappold, Dyson, and BRE, include:

Aerial ABM Hardware
– A novel Aerial ABM robot turn it into with autonomous vision based stabilisation, navigation and mapping of a dynamically changing environment which is optimised for flight and 3D Printing tasks.

Aerial ABM Autonomy
– A framework for autonomous making which utilises swarm intelligence for collaborative robot-to-robot operations, dynamic task sharing/allocation, adaptive response to context and dynamic environment content involving functions such as new methods of collision avoidance.
– Develop new modes of communication and control which enable the safe co-existence and cooperation of human workers, other robots and Aerial ABM robots on createion sites. Novel research in human-robot interaction, feedback and haptic interface functionalities can enable making flexibility suitable for createion sites which are always one-of-a-kind in dimensions, shape and contextual complexity.
– An integrated turn it into and real-time structural analysis software which delivers optimal structural integrity of minimal material mass inside assembling turn it into strategies which leverage this free-form making system to turn it into new assembling turn it into possibilities.

Aerial ABM Materials and Structures
– Development of new high-performance 3D-printable composite material and deposition procedures for the additive manufacture (3D Printing) of free-form light-mass assembling structures utilising autonomous UAS.

x846.getty_5.jpg.pagespeed.ic.vxrO--m-x3The thought behind the research is which it can be possible to gather information via drones which may be fed into Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. Once a version of landscape has been turn it intod, a shelter may be turn it intoed in response and and so, and this is the quite rad part, an army of drones may be dispatched which are capable of extruding 3D print material in the air to in fact create those structures. The concept was defined in a podcast delivered by Dr. Mirko Kovac, the research leader and director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at Imperial College in London:

“[T]he drones may fly to the site and only observe what is taking place. Once the site has been synonymous where, for example, shelters may be needed, and so we can turn it into the virtual version on the desktop offsite, away in a safe zone, and so send the drones with those materials on board to, in swarms, create those types of shelters.”

Drone-e1455553189703The project has succeded in a $3.3 million grant which can allow the researchers to collaborate with industry partners to realize the next in aerial additive assembling making (ABM). This can need a excellent deal of new considering in terms of hardware, structural engineering, and materials science, but it’s a challenge experts in those fields should have no trouble sinking their teeth into. It is in fact possible which aerial ABM may one day be a part of regular, non-emergency createion. Kovac envisions the contributions this research may manufacture the development of smart cities:

“If you ponder of the next smart city, the question arises, what is smart of it? One aspect of this smartness in the city is the sensing, the distruted knowledge, information, intelligence. But it is in addition the reaction to which information. So, in which context, the drones can assist to gather the information, to sense the environment, inspect structures, inspect assemblings, for example, and and so be utilized to repair or maintain those assemblings, and in facttually in addition to create those assemblings.”

Whilst a thing like this is yet years away, it’s a far cry of the overly ambitious science fiction predictions of flying cars and holodecks, and addresses a farm additional practical and pressing concern which may in facttually manufacture an huge impact on the lives which need it many.

“It is amazing to be working on a project where the structure has to be so light and efficient which it can be created by tiny flying drones,” said Dr. Chris Williams, co-investigator and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering at the University of Bath.

Researchers involved in the project include Principal Investigator Mirko Kovac and Co-Investigators Robert Stuart-Smith, Christopher John Williams, Richard James Ball, Stephan Leutenegger, and Mandayam A. Srinivasasn. Discuss this project in the 3D Printed Disaster Hovia forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Images: University of Bath, GCR]