This Mud-Spraying Drone Makes Budget Construction Easier


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Apart from being used in military surveillance systems and buzzing around at weddings making videos, drones can actually play an effective role in construction as well.

A bright team of the researcher has come up with a way to utilize drones in constructing low-cost housing made from natural material.

The research team is headed by  Stephanie Chaltiel who is a researcher at Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. She has done extensive research on how certain building methods can be automated in part to make low-cost construction easier and less laborious. The use of drones is one way to automate that.

“We’re trying to test how drones can be embedded in the construction chain to ease some of the most laborious tasks, to be able to introduce much more sustainable techniques for innovative housing,” Stephanie said.

Credit: Alina Cristea © Domaine de Boisbuchet

Her idea is to fit drones with spraying hoses and then use those to apply various biomaterials like cement and paint etc. onto lightweight structures like dome frames covered with tensile fabrics.

The lightweight structures can be easily constructed without any specialized or heavy machinery. This would make construction in remote and hard-to-access areas easier.

The drones offer mobility and ease of carriage as the drones themselves can be packed into luggage cases and their spraying pumps can be transported on wheels. They can then be loaded up with mixtures of various materials like such as mud, clay, and lime sand.

Credit: Alina Cristea © Domaine de Boisbuchet

Stephanie built a geodesic dome-shaped skeleton at an annual summer workshop at Domaine de Boisbuchet to present her proof of concept. The team completed the skeleton in one hour and fitted it with 200 jute bags filled with hay. A drone was then used to spray the structure with cement and paint to form a final design called the “bioshotcrete”.

Picture credits: Alina Cristea © Domaine de Boisbuchet

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