IN 2011 Markus Kayser created the Solar Sinter - a stationary, semi-automatic, solar-powered robot that melts the desert sand into glass. In essence, this is a solar-powered 3d printer that uses the desert sand as a filament to create structures made of glass.
The obvious next step for this idea is to create autonomous solar-powered rovers to operate on the outskirts of deserts and slowly, but surely print structures that would be useful to life:
roads? (followed up by solar-powered, sand cleaning robots)
structures that protect resilient plants from desert sun and sandstorms
structures that aid in irrigation and forestation of deserts, gradually pushing the boundaries of deserts inwards
Terraforming deserts with fleets of solar-powered, 3d-printing, and sand-removing rovers sounds like a good testing ground to perfect the technologies for future Mars colonization.
Do you know of anyone working on something like this?