A team of researchers hope to use drone to craft low-cost housing made from natural materials, reports New Atlas writer Nick Lavars.

The work is headed up by Stephanie Chaltiel, a researcher at Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Chaltiel has spent years researching how elements of certain building methods could be automated to open up new possibilities, in particular through the use of drones.

The idea is to fit drones with spraying hoses to apply layers of biomaterials onto light structures, such as geodesic dome frames or grid shells covered in tensile fabrics. These frames can be put up easily and quickly, with minimal tools and skills, and the use of drones negates the need for scaffolds and heavy machinery to finish the job, a real advantage in remote areas without road access.

The drones can be packed into luggage cases and the spraying pumps can transported on wheels, Chaltiel tells Italian design magazine Domus. When they arrive at the site they can be loaded up with cocktails of different natural ingredients, such as mud, clay, lime sands and oils to form "bioshotcrete." Different mixtures can be layered onto the structure in layers to offer different drying times and different textures, ultimately coming together to form stable exterior facades that hold everything together.

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