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Drones, not just for spying Answered

So with the advance of 3d printing, arduino firmware, Raspberry pi, and the general open source approach to making things in the last 15 or so years, it's really not that surprising that drones have become as wide spread as they are. Those not interested in drones view them mostly as either a hobby or a potential threat to their privacy, but I had an idea the other day that might push them into better prominence.  

What if drones could be used for construction and basic maintenance? 

What if a quad copter was the thing that was wiping down the windows of a skyscraper? 
Or messing with dangerous high power electrical lines....

Things that are both tedious because they have to be done over and over again, and that are moderately dangerous for a human being to perform. 

Why can't a drone be used for some of that, and can one be designed around those constraints? 

This is how a hobby user could make innovations that might curtail some of legal and general paranoia surrounding drones. 

This is all well and good, but let's take this a step further:
Drones are a necessary part of human exploration. 

People talk about putting humans on Mars. 

Human beings require inputs. Food, shelter, air.... those sorta things. 
If there's a problem with one of those things on Mars, there has to be a way to fix that, and it's probably best if it's something that's established before those humans get there. 

Drones could be used to do a variety of tasks, and possibly even establish small caches of water or maybe even limited quantities of iron. Maybe even something like a 3d printed iron shelter....

(Induction heating works by pulsing a electromagnetic coil with high frequency electricity, which can be used to melt magnetic metals with high degrees of efficiency. This could be used to make low grade steel on mars, but if time and scarcity of resources aren't constraints... it would work.)

Anyway... I was just sort thinking about this stuff. Let me know what y'all think

Discussions

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T0BY

4 years ago

this is a great idea! I want one to clean bird poo off the front of my house. Today I had to gaffa tape 5 long sticks together with a paint brush on the end to get it off.

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liquidhandwash

4 years ago

Unfortunately the military are using drones to kill people and blow up stuff, so there is a bit of fear attached to drones, (terminator movies dont help either). I thought a big octocopter could be quite useful lifting building materials onto multistory buildings maybe replacing the need for huge cranes. If you think about the limitations of a crane, They can only reach so far, have to be tied to the building and if they break down they are a major pain to fix 50 stories up in the air.

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Qcksliquidhandwash

Reply 4 years ago

That's actually an interesting idea, although there'd have to be some sort of fail safe in case the drone broke down.
Amazon experimented with using drones to deliver merchandise, which would be kinda similar. That's actually one of the reasons Amazon is not happy about the FAA's new regulations concerning the operations of drones, but this probably wouldn't be a hinderance here. The only thing about this idea is you'd need a very large drone to lift some objects. A 10 ton i-beam is still hard to lift.

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liquidhandwashQcks

Reply 4 years ago

I was thinking it would have to be really big, and maybe powered externally from a tether.

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Qcksliquidhandwash

Reply 4 years ago

Tethers could be a positive thing though. a tether might not stop it from falling out of the sky, but it might be able to help cushion the blow somewhat. A tether isn't a bad idea simply because it frees the lifter from having to drag around it's batteries.

You could use lifting gas too, but most of it is either too expensive or explosive.

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Kiteman

4 years ago

Hehe, I go a mental image of a drone with robotic arms, wielding a sponge and a bucket of soapy water...