Youtubers use them; dads want them, and road construction engineers are making them. Have you figured out what we’re talking about?
Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, drones have become the latest craze for filmmaking, scientific research, journalism, and pothole filling? Yep, you heard us correctly! Researchers from the U.K. have just unveiled their latest research project, a drone that fills potholes using a 3D printer onboard. The goal is to decrease the number of road closures and find out if “self-repairing cities” can become a reality. This means no more scenic routes to avoid these tire-sores, or accidentally dumping beverages on yourself when you hit a pothole on your way to work!
Breaking News: A really cool drone has been hit by a car while filling potholes. Well, hopefully not. The researchers are looking into the best time of day to send out the fleet of pothole filling drones. Although these drones are only a proof of concept, the likelihood of their application in the real world is pretty big! A proposed idea for a drone-repair schedule would be to survey during the day to find areas that need service, then actually repairing the roads at night when there is a significantly lower number of cars on the road. We’ve got to keep our drones safe, and our roads even safer!
These researchers also have developed the first successful asphalt extruder with up to 1-millimeter accuracy! Due to the asphalt printer being small, the drones will likely target smaller potholes in its early stages; however, all potholes start off small and become larger. The researchers want to stop the development of more potholes by targeting the source, small holes in the road. If these drones become implemented, we could see drastic differences in our roads within a few years!
Luckily, these drones still have a large amount of testing and work to be done before implementation; therefore, the creative “solutions” many civilians have come up with can continue. What solutions? Well, artistic approaches to potholes change throughout the United States, so we’ll pick our favorites.
In Portland, OR, potholes have become POTholes as people have decided to plant marijuana plants in the unfilled potholes around the city. Now those are some high achievers! And to cure the resulting munchies, Domino’s Pizza has began its campaign Paving for Pizza with the slogan, “Bad roads shouldn’t happen to good pizza.” Besides the great advertisement they get with their logo printed on roads, they’re also sending signs to the cities they visit about their extensive pothole problem. They’ve donated money to 20 U.S. cities, specifically to be used for potholes and they have already broken ground in Texas and California!
Finally, we have the great street artist known as Jim Bachor who fills potholes with mosaics in Chicago, IL. He has never been bothered by law enforcements during his work and most people believe he works for the city; therefore, dozens of his mosaic potholes can be found throughout the city! His pothole filling days may be limited but seeing as there is a large amount of time before these drones hit big cities in the U.S, we’d say his artistic hobby is safe to continue.
Potholes are more than just a nuisance; they’re something special. Over the years they have acted as a platform for artists to make people smile, for businesses to spread their name, and for engineers to find yet another use for drones. Actually, potholes suck, which is why this innovative solution to fixing roads in a safe, timely manner will make commuters happy. No more flying protein shakes, smoothies, or coffee in the morning, because Java belongs on our computers and drones, not on our dashboards!