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Drone Technology Instrumental in Building Hensel Phelps $387 Million Austin TX Resort Project

Courtesy of Kalahari Resorts

General contractor, Hensel Phelps, used cutting-edge drone technology to build the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Austin, Texas. The 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use project was completed in November 2020 and boasts a convention center, retail area, and an indoor waterpark.

Drone technology replaced conventional survey techniques by streamlining the process of measuring and marking out the future resort location. The drones helped keep the project on schedule and it was completed in 30 months.

Drone technology firm Propeller provided the software that facilitated construction. "As you're covering a really massive area, like 350 acres, that would take an enormous amount of time, if you were trying to cover the whole thing in that type of grid," said John Frost, a vice president at Propeller. "But with a drone, you can, in an hour, achieve a much greater level of coverage, because you don't get a point every 25 feet, you get points every centimeter or two or every couple inches."

Frost thinks that drones will be an indispensable tool for surveyors moving forward. "I believe that we'll get into a world where every surveyor and everyone tasked with the surveying tasks, measuring things, will have a drone in the back of their truck."

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