Germany has been struggling with failing infrastructure and World War Two-era construction materials that are compromising older buildings and homes. Now, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute are pioneering the development of small flying robots for the purpose of inspecting buildings for damage, explains Mark Howe, who writes about construction and energy issues on Sourceable.net. He states that aerial robots could end the use of pricey cranes and equipment that currently maneuver inspectors around dangerous crevices atop buildings. “Their ‘octocopter’ is a small remote-controlled flying robot equipped with eight rotors and a high-resolution digital camera. The miniature aircraft is capable of drifting and hovering at the whim of its controller, enabling it to scrutinize those parts of buildings which would be impossible for a person to access unaided,” says Howe.