It’s always fun to go out on long drives but it’s not always fun when you face an unexpected or rather a routine problem of roads covered with potholes. The potholes will make your rides bumpy, uncomfortable and less enjoyable. Apart from this, the potholes can cause damage to the vehicle as well. Technology has always influenced mankind, can it again play its part in getting rid of potholes? Well, the answer is yes with the help of cutting-edge technology researchers from U.K are exploring the possibilities. Potholes could be repaired by asphalt-printing drones in the near future.
The UK researchers have been exploring an unorthodox approach to pothole repair. In their study, they have used cameras equipped with image recognition technology which are attached to a drone. These cameras constantly scan the street and detect any developing flaws via the drones dispatched at the sites. Later with the use of an onboard 3D printer to patch the hole with asphalt.
The whole study is part of a multi-university project to explore the possibilities of self-repairing cities and how robotics and other automated systems could be used to aid with repairs, which will help in road repairs and cut down on
The concept is part of a larger, multi-university project looking at the possibility of self-repairing cities, and how robotics and other automated systems could be used to aid with repairs so as to cut down on the disruption caused due to road closures and other street works.
To find a solution to fix potholes using drones, image recognition, and 3D printing is a bit weird. Speaking to Digital Trends professor of Materials and Structures at the University of Leeds, Phil Purnell said these systems could actually save money in the long run. According to him when you are dealing with infrastructure, whether it is roads, pipes or bridges you often use ton and meter scale solutions for problems that started out as gram and millimeter-scale defects.
When it comes to potholes they normally show up as small coin-size dents which get further aggravated and grow in size as a result of wear and tear because of weather and repeated vehicular movements. According to the researchers, smart technology can help fix this problem related to potholes before it gets worse later.
The researched from University College London have built an asphalt extruder. This can be mounted onto a University of Leeds hybrid aerial-ground vehicle for transportation and can extrude asphalt with 1-millimeter accuracy.
Purnell is confident about the technology though it is still a long way from being deployed on the roads. The current development in the concept demonstrate proof how such approaches may be used in the future.
Purnell explains this to be similar to Formula 1 racing where twenty years ago energy recovery through braking systems technology or idea was unknown until it was used in Formula 1 cars. The very technology can be seen in hybrid cars we drive today. He feels similarly they as academics will need to put together the pieces of the puzzle, need to interact with the industry and find ways to be able to implement it.