In order to create self-repairing cities, researchers from the University of Leeds are now leading a pioneering £4.2-milion research project with an army of drones that could repairing things like potholes and busted street lamps.
A Gizmag report reveals that as soon as problems emerge, an army of drones will identify the infrastructure-related issues to prevent them from developing into inconvenient roadworks or other larger repair projects.
“We want to make Leeds the first city in the world to have zero disruption from street works. We can support infrast ructure which can be entirely maintained by robots and make the disruption caused by the constant digging up the road in our cities a thing of the past,” Phil Purnell, a professor at the university’s school of civil engineering, was quoted as saying.
It must be noted that at the beginning, the research team will develop new robot designs and technologies in three areas, which, as per Gizmag, are:
1. Perch and Repair: Under this segment, the researchers will invent drones that can perch on structures like birds at height and perform repair tasks. For instance: Repairing street lights.
2. Perceive and Patch: Under this category, the researchers will develop drones that can autonomously inspect, diagnose, repair and prevent potholes in roads.
3. Fire and forget: Under this category, the AI robots will operate indefinitely within live utility pipes performing inspection, repair, metering and reporting tasks.
Rob Richardson, director of the National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems at the university, was quoted as saying that “Detecting faults and weaknesses early and then quickly performing smart repairs is the key.
He also added, “Our robots will undertake precision repairs and avoid the need for large construction vehicles in the heart of our cities. We will use the unique capabilities of our robotic facility to make new, more capable robots.”
So if you get to see an army of drones flying over your head, don’t feel threatened as it might have been assigned the task to repair a busted street light!
(Image: The Economic Times)