Imagine a horde of robots swarming into a disaster zone, scanning the landscape, and 3D-printing a bunch of emergency shelters from scratch. Sound possible? Sure, why not, according to a team that has just received a $3.3 million grant from the United Kingdom's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. "One aspect of this smartness in the city is the sensing, the distributed knowledge, information, intelligence. But it is also the reaction to that information," said Dr. Mirko Kovac, research leader and director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at Imperial College London. "So in that context the drones can help to gather the information, to sense the environment, inspect structures, inspect buildings, for example, and then be used to repair or maintain those buildings, and eventually also to construct those buildings."
· Scientists to develop flying robots that can print buildings in disaster zones [GCR]