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Drones set to ‘weave’ tensile structures


Many will be surprised to learn that even the construction industry is acquiring new technologies to help widen its spectrum, in a bid to innovate ordinary construction processes. One of these new tools is the use of drones in architecture. However, the process is far from straightforward and is still undergoing radical development to build on existing research. But what can we expect from drones in the future in the architectural and construction sectors?

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How do drones work?

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as they are otherwise known, come in a variety of sizes and have been developed for a wide range of purposes. Used principally by the military, some of the larger drones require runways to launch, whilst smaller devices can be launched by hand. Drones are made up of two main sections, the drone itself which takes to the air and the control system that dictates its movements.

Who is using drones right now within the industry?

Architect Magazine reveals in this article which innovative companies are currently using drones and sets the record straight on the legislation of using the devices in public – http://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/can-i-legally-use-a-drone_o.

What makes a drone more efficient than a crane?

Drones are relatively small devices which have the ability to fly and squeeze through existing structures. They are also far more precise than bulkier equipment such as cranes. Engineers aim to have the objects programmed to weave structures, such as a tensile canopy similar to that erected by Fabric Architecture (http://fabricarchitecture.com/), in a given space which will save time, and in turn, preserve manpower. Though some might argue that experienced crane operators boast precision and experience, nothing can beat the reliability and speed of modern machinery, and the buzz within the industry is only increasing with time.

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What is next for drones in architecture?

Though experts are still experimenting with the objects in labs, it is thought that drones could be used in the future for specific applications in construction. Though it is unlikely for drones alone to replace the entire building process, the devices have certainly got people talking about their capabilities – not only what they can bring to the industry, but what they can replace. Researchers working on the project have confirmed that they feel close to being able to set the drone to work in the public realm.a

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