23 Sep
Canopy Uses Drones to Keep People Cool Canopy Uses Drones to Keep People Cool

Canopy Uses Drones to Keep People Cool

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The new system, developed by masters students at the University of Stuttgart, incorporates drones as an inventive type of architecture that can change its shape as the sun travels across the sky.

The project, known as the Cyber Physical Macro Materials endeavor, is made up of several panels that, together, form a kind of free-standing roof. The system uses magnets to attach one panel to others, and also makes use of built-in sensors, communication equipment, and shading elements.

The panels attach to drones by taking advantage of a communications network that lets them adapt to their surroundings. The system can be programmed to shift and change in response to the sun's movements to provide shade to a specific area at all times of the day. A different algorithm can be used to pick up on the number of people occupying the shaded space so that the drones and panels can again adjust to best keep everyone shaded and cool.

Right now, the system isn't exactly unobtrusive, given that drones currently emit a fair amount of noise, which could negate some benefits of deploying a subtly changing canopy over, say, a classical-music concert crowd.

However, according to a note on the project's web site, because the system has the capability to keep reconstructing itself while deployed, the invention points the way toward how pre-fab architecture and programmed robots can work together.

In addition, says the research team, "One can imagine an agile versatile canopy autonomously moving through a large public space according to the position of the sun, providing the occupants with shade or actively rebuilding itself to influence the occupants while at times retreating entirely to nearby rooftops."


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Read 2292 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 September 2018 07:24
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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