An autonomous hexacopter drone able to test the integrity of glass-clad skyscrapers could replace the need for humans to conduct the risky inspections.
The prototype drone created by a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences features a pivoting arm equipped with an array of pressure sensors. As the drone flies to each pane, it will press the sensor-laden arm against the glass to determine how securely it is attached to the building. The drone’s specialized closed-loop control system ensures the drone will continue to press against the glass, since standard drones are programmed to stop when they encounter an unyielding surface. The drone is still in the prototype phase, but has successfully activated a light switch and used a pen to write on a glass wall.
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