Spanish architecture firm MuDD is combining drones and construction in a way we haven’t seen before.
MuDD’s tethered drones are being used to spray a cement-like substance onto fabric to solidify lightweight structures.
The team claims that the innovative method removes the need for expensive construction equipment. The technique could be used to put up structures at speed during natural disasters or other emergency situations.
MuDD recently demonstrated the technology in Italy at Milan Design Week.
We’re used to seeing drones assist construction operations, where the technology is used to map terrain, measure stockpiles, document project progress and inspect infrastructure, among other things. This is an example of how drones could play a more active role on site.
Drones and Shotcrete
MuDD architects specialize in solutions for sustainable architecture, facades refurbishments and sustainable housing systems using natural materials.
The addition of drones makes a lot of sense for the construction of temporary structures. Particularly given MuDD’s preference for shotcrete.
Shotcrete is a type of high-performance concrete that’s sprayed through a hose and projected at speed onto a surface. The force of the spray compacts the substance and builds layers of concrete onto the existing base.
The flexibility of this construction method has made it the go-to for creating curved surfaces and renovating existing structures, including tunnel linings and domes.
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The best application of MuDD’s concrete-spraying drone technology appears to be putting temporary structures up, fast. It’s also ideal for building repairs and reinforcing curved structures.
MuDD doesn’t offer any figures on how quickly their drone can work compared to traditional manual processes, but we’d imagine that it’s significantly faster.
For that reason, the concept could be perfect when time s of the essence: When a sturdy shelter is needed, when a renovation is required or when construction companies need to complete tasks at scale.