Drones can be annoying, and sooner or later we'll see a remake of Hitchcock's 'The Birds' based on them, but sometimes they can be useful too.
An "armed" octocopter drone with a nail gun can pass on a roof and repair it in complete autonomy: this is what it claims Ella Atkins of the University of Michigan, which built the system for the initial need to repair its roof.
She and her colleagues modified the drone by equipping it with the nail gun and a sensor system to track positioning and surface, allowing the aircraft to fly exactly where needed. The video shows a test in which the drone nails a series of flexible tiles with extreme precision.
I don't know about you, but the idea scares me a little. Of course, this specific drone is programmed so that it does not shoot nails haphazardly into the air: the weapon trigger works only when the gun rests on the surface to be worked. The problem is that such acquired knowledge could be employed later. The day a series of drones will panic by driving nails on passers-by, don't say I didn't warn you.
The usual work problems
For Atkins, the drones thus modified will not massacre human resources in the repair market: even in the case of massive use, there will always be the need for human support to prepare equipment and materials.
When inserted into the market circuit, this gun drone will necessarily need to be connected to a corded power supply, and the weights, structure, volume and quality of the nail gun will also need to be improved. The base, however, is already excellent.
"What we have done is truly spectacular," says the researcher. Beyond the repairs, before now it was impossible to make actions of such proximity to a drone. She says she is convinced that the next generation of aircraft will be perfectly capable of coming into physical contact with objects of all kinds.
No more deposits and deliveries, therefore, but actions done by flying.
But remember what I wrote in the box: after all, this drone is armed, and sooner or later the weapons always end up in the wrong hands.
Research references: arxiv.org/1909.08162