Just a few weeks back, we thought technology was pushing boundaries with the 3D printed car. We were wrong - meet the future of house building via 3D printing. Oh, and by the way, drones, not humans, are erecting these houses.
Before you grunt in disbelief, the concept of 3D printed architectures isn’t new. And with all the wonderful ways drones have been assisting our lives, it should come as no surprise that it's possible for those tiny autonomous robots to very well 3D print a house.
Named Minibuilders, these pint-sized drones made by Saša Jokić and Petr Novikov are robotic concrete mixers that deposit layers of liquid construct substance. Like everything else, there needs to be a core to hold the house together, which consists of two huge cylinders of liquid synthetic marble.
The work of drones
The liquid is forced through long tubes by a specialised team of three musketeer robots, using inflatable syringes. Even though it might sound like a medical experiment, the process has to start with a solid footing.
One of the minibots equipped with a sensor follows lines marked on the ground, laying the foundation for the construction; and it’s got its work cut out – like a ceramist, it positions the first 20 layers of material in a single endless, looping spiral.
Finally, a human constructor (the most complex of things do require at least some form of human assembly) braces on another “grip robot” to the foundation that dispenses the material, durable enough to print roofs and other suspended constructions, to create a building.
By the looks of it, we’ll be able to soon expect a world where drones such as these give constructors and bricklayers a run for their money.