Drones for Mars Exploration

The European Space Agency (ESA) has developed a ‘crash-proof’ drone to fly on missions to Mars and beyond.

The new drones could one day help Martian settlers explore lava tubes on the planet by mapping out tight spots that humans cannot reach.

The drone, surrounded by a protective spherical cage and equipped with thermal cameras, deliberately bumps into its surroundings in order to build a 3D-map.

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The European Space Agency (ESA) has developed a 'crash-proof' drone (pictured) to fly on missions to Mars and beyond. It is pictured being tested in a cave in Sicily

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Drones, Not Just Weapons of Destruction

How drones are being used to help build the  skyscrapers

 

While the use of drones by the US military  continues to provoke controversy over claims they’ve been used to killed  countless innocent victims, other more positive uses for the technology are also  being developed.

In Switzerland a firm of architects is using  drones to help develop an entirely new type of architectural structure that  could develop into the skyscrapers of the future.

The ‘Flight Assembled Architecture’ project has been developed by  architects Gramazio &  Kohlerin collaboration with Raffaello D’Andrea,  Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute  of  Technology in Zurich.

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The future skyscrapers, built by drones, could stand more than 600 meters tall and house 30,000 inhabitants
The future skyscrapers, built by drones, could stand  more than 600 meters tall and house 30,000 inhabitants
drone
Architects and robotic experts are collaborating on  intelligent drones which could help build the skyscrapers of tomorrow

Their concept includes developing small robotic ‘quadrocopters’ to build complex cylindrical towers which they  believe could stand more than 600  meters  tall and house 30,000 inhabitants.

The drones would operate  semi-autonomously and be capable of communicating with one another and  independently sensing the  height of the tower to place their block accordingly,  reports Smithsonian.com.

A prototype of the structure and the drones  has been created at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France using model drones  programmed to lift 1,500 foam blocks into a complex cylindrical tower standing  more than six meters high.

As these images by François  Lauginie show the model drones and  towers offer a potentially innovative solution for  creating high-rise buildings in urban areas where construction can be incredibly  difficult and costly.

A prototype has been created using miniature drones to lift 1,500 foam blocks into a complex cylindrical tower
A prototype has been created using miniature drones to  lift 1,500 foam blocks into a complex cylindrical tower
In order for the project to became a reality lighter building products need to be developed which drones would be capable of carrying
In order for the project to became a reality lighter  building products need to be developed which drones would be capable of  carrying

At the cutting edge of speculative building  technology, construction  drones offer a more advanced solution  than erecting scaffolding and using  cranes.

However for Gramazio & Kohler’s model to  become reality will require the  development of high-performance  lightweight materials, as current materials are  too heavy for drones to lift.

These designs help show that there is a world  of possibilities for drones beyond warfare.

In the future drones could  be programed with  different ‘skills’ or built specifically to  perform particular task such as  working in areas that aren’t fit for humans or helping in disaster relief and  other emergencies.

Attribution: David Mccormack, Mail Online