post-title Autonomous roofing drone nails down asphalt shingles – New Atlas 2019-09-24 10:36:06 yes no Posted by Categories: Computer Repair LKN, Home Page

Autonomous roofing drone nails down asphalt shingles – New Atlas

Posted by Categories: Computer Repair LKN, Home Page

Between drones that assemble rope bridges and others that build low-cost houses out of mud, imaginative research projects continue to show us how the autonomous aircraft can have a role to play in the world of construction. Scientists at the University of Michigan (UM) have put forward another possibility, showing off an octocopter equipped with a nail gun and a knack for fixing asphalt shingles to a mock rooftop.

The engineering team started with an off-the-shelf nail gun and a DJI S1000 Octocopter, which also happens to be the model we saw turned into a flying flamethrower earlier in the year.

To turn the drone from one that simply carries a nail gun to one that uses it to secure roof shingles, the team set up a system of cameras and markers, which enable the aircraft to both know exactly where it is in the environment, and determine where the nails should go.

Where a human roofer would need to pull the trigger on the electric nail gun, the team programmed a virtual switch so that the drone itself does so when in the correct position. They then performed a number of demonstrations, using the drone to nail shingles to a wooden panel at different angles to mimic roofs with different slopes.

Scientists at the University of Michiganhave demonstrated an octocopter equipped with a nail gun and a knack for fixing asphalt shingles to a mock rooftop

Scientists at the University of Michiganhave demonstrated an octocopter equipped with a nail gun and a knack for fixing asphalt shingles to a mock rooftop

Matthew Romano, Michigan Robotics, University of Michigan

While an impressive feat, the team notes that the proof-of-concept system is currently inferior to a human deployed to do the same job, but they see a few ways they could bring it up to speed. It can only operate for 10 minutes at a time, but by adding a power cable alongside an airline, they could both allow it to run indefinitely and add more firepower by way of a pneumatic nail gun.

They also say that the system of cameras and markers would be overkill for a practical version of the technology. With a shiny adhesive strip and different coloring of the shingles to the material below it, the team says there are enough visual queues for a drone to find its own way.

“It would be pretty easy to have a camera system mounted on the octocopter that understands both the orientation of the shingle and its position,” says Ella Atkins, a professor of aerospace engineering and robotics.

The paper describing the team’s research can be accessed online here (PDF), while you can see the drone in action in the video below.

A drone with a nail gun for autonomous roofing

Source: University of Michigan

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