A research team at the University of Leeds is working on drones that can detect potholes. But rather than only hovering about, the little machines first scan the holes and then help 3d-print the fitting filling to fix it. Perceive and Patch, they call the principle.
The project aims to provide a cheap and efficient alternative to sending out road crews to deal with potholes, after road repairs were shown to have cost about £1bil over the past decade to fix about 18 million potholes. Part of a larger university project to develop smart cities that can manage and maintain themselves, “the project will also develop drones to “perch” like birds to detect and repair faults in the city (e.g. broken streetlights) and robots to inspect and protect utility pipes.”
The team leader, professor Phil Purnell stated: “We want to make Leeds the first city in the world to have zero disruption from street works.”
We look forward to seeing this project in action!
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