Yes you read it right! It’s a flying 3D printer this time, which combines two of the amazing technologies – flying drones and 3D printers. The flying 3D drone project or the MUPPette project team from Imperial College- London, aims at building a flying quad-copter, which can be more formally called as a 3D printing Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV). The copter carries two chemicals that create polyurethane foam when mixed. Swiftlet is a small bird that builds nests entirely from threads of their saliva is the inspiration behind this technology.
According to the team, the foam can be molded to create non-complex structures or repair components, making the drone especially useful in hard-to-reach areas. Another application for this novel technology can be removal of dangerous objects from hazardous locations, since the substance is very sticky and allows multiple drones to work together and carry away the hazardous materials.
Currently, the drone can only fly in controlled environments using real time sensors, but going forward, the copter will be made ready to face any environment using high-speed cameras, sensors and even solar panels.