Industrial drone at a construction site. Drones, paired with 3-D printing technology, could autonomously carry out building projects. Photo Credit: Anton Petrus/Getty Images, Video: nature

Technology USA13. October 2022

Flying Robots and 3D Printing: The Future of Construction

A team of flying robots may soon take over future construction sites, especially in areas that would otherwise be out of human reach.

“We’ve proved the concept that drones can work autonomously and in tandem to construct and repair buildings, at least in the lab,” explains Mirko Kovac, head of the materials and technology center of robotics at Swiss research institute Empa and co-leader of the research.

Though the technology is still in progress, researchers are hopeful that flying drones may be able to unlock construction abilities in isolated areas or in emergency situations. A couple of proposed ideas are the ability of these flying drones to print 3D temporary homes for displaced people or to make infrastructure repairs during a blackout. “[Aerial robots could] go beyond the limits of current technologies,” adds Rahul Pranat, a mechanical engineer researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.

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