Smart Drones To Repair Smart Cities
A £4.2 million national infrastructure research project could see the use of smart drones in creating ‘self-repairing’ cities.
19:59 31 July 2018
A £4.2 million, five-year project that aims to use smart drones in repairing potholes is now at its halfway stage. Researchers working on the project are collaborating with Langley Mill-based Print-Rite Europe, which manufactures 3D printers that can be attached to smart drones so they can find cracked potholes and repair them using an asphalt 3D printing nozzle.
The project combines the expertise of researchers from the University of Leeds and engineers and faculty from the University College London, University of Southampton and the University of Birmingham. Researchers have confirmed that trials will take place at night to avoid disrupting road traffic. They also hope the project will be able to repair road damages at the early stage to minimise road closures and manual labour.
Dr Bilal Kaddouh, research fellow at the university’s School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said: “We decided to use an off-the-shelf 3D printer and heavily modify it to reduce prototyping time.
“The printer had to have a fixed printing bed, a moving nozzle, exposed interfacing board and a space for material and sensors around the nozzle.
“The Delta met those requirements and was also physically suitable for the application as it is easy to modify, fits under the drone, is easy to interface with and is of relatively low cost.
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