Imperial College London and Empa are functioning together to examine independent drone technology.
The drones will autonomously wander the Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies (NEST) Aerial Robotics Hub, that will be based on the NEST research building of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa).

Objectives of Independent Drones

The aim of the new cooperation is to combine functional materials into drone technology.

These drones will roam the building to identify and fix minor problems alongside human inhabitants. Performing next to humans by managing their daily work.

The drones will use this corresponding technology to autonomous cars, concurrent localization and mapping, or SLAM to construct 3D maps of their environment. While doing so, the drones can navigate and handle themselves in real-time and prevent obstacles.

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How this could shape future cities?

Drones will patrol independently as permanent residents within the NEST to spot and perform building maintenance and repair works.

The use of these drones will enhance the efficiency of building maintenance, and help to finish maintenance work in complex, hazardous areas.

Dr.Mirko Kovac, the project lead of Imperial College London’s Department of Aeronautics, stated that “Future cities will be like ecosystems, where robots, the built environment, and humans work combined in a symbiotic relationship. This idea will look at how these flying robots can be part of this vision and connect with buildings in a secure and low-cost way”

At present, the drones and technology are being advanced and analyzed by Imperial’s Aerial Robotics Lab and Empa.

Watch a video of Imperial and Empa Launch a Center for Independent Drones: