Researchers at the Shenyang Institute of Automation in China have developed a prototype autonomous hexacopter drone that can inspect glass skyscrapers more quickly and safely than human inspectors.
The device has a vertically-pivoting arm on one side, equipped with a square array of pressure sensors. The drone can assess how well the glass is attached to a building by systematically pressing the sensor arm against each pane to see if there is any give.
The researchers found that the copter can successfully activate a wall-mounted push-type light switch, and it used a pen on its arm to write the Shenyang Institute of Automation's initials (SIA) on a glass wall. "In the near future, we might see an extensive use of this new system in large infrastructure maintenance, and other special applications, such as scientific sampling," says SIA researcher Meng Xiangdong.
From New Atlas
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