In the beginning, there was mud. The earliest human dwellings were constructed of nothing more than mud-and-straw bricks baked in the sun. The ancient Romans were the first to experiment with concrete, mixing lime and volcanic rock to build majestic structures like the Pantheon in Rome, still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world [source: Pruitt].
Over the centuries, engineers and architects have devised ever-new ways to build taller, stronger and more beautiful creations using game-changing materials like steel girders, earthquake-proof foundations and glass curtain walls.
But what does the future hold for construction technology? Will there come a day when noisy construction crews are replaced by swarms of autonomous nanobots? Will the cracks in concrete foundations one day miraculously heal themselves, or gas stations be replaced by electric cars running on self-charging roads?
Keep reading for our full list of 10 of the most exciting construction innovations of the near future. Some are even in use today.