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Drones for good: UAVs and 3D printers may be the future of road repairs

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Researchers from Leeds University, UK, have built a drone prototype that can be used in conjunction with 3D printers to repair damaged roads.

The Leeds team worked in collaboration with another group at University College of London who created the world’s first 3D bitumen printer.

Over the past two and a half years, the two universities have worked on multiple iterations of their drones and printers. The Leeds team are currently using a DJI Matrice 600, a versatile six-rotor industrial UAV, alongside the printing technology.

These two projects are part of a wider program called Self-Repairing CitiesAccording to the program’s website, Repairing Cities aims towards zero disruption from street-works in UK cities by 2050. They aim to achieve this by developing robots that will identify, diagnose and repair street-works through minimally invasive techniques.

Story continues and video drone in action on page 2

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