Airobotics Partners with Shapir-Ashtrom To Automate Surveying for the Construction of Israel’s New “Gulf Port” in Haifa

Airobotics, the Israeli startup that built the world’s first fully automated drone, announced today its partnership with Shapir-Ashtrom to survey the construction of Haifa’s new seaport, “Gulf Port”, intended to further develop Israel’s coastline areas, and increase maritime traffic and international commerce.

With this collaboration, Airobotics is implementing the first technology of its kind for industrial spaces, and is working closely with Israel’s top construction and civil engineering companies, Shapir Civil and Marine Engineering Ltd., and Ashtrom Properties Ltd., which created a joint venture “Shapir-Ashtrom”, specifically for this new Haifa seaport initiative, valued at 4 billion Israeli Shekels (approx. $1b). Shapir-Ashtrom, along with The Israel Ports Company, are building the Gulf Port, including the construction of breakwaters and piers, as well as dredging and reclamation. The port will be 810 acres and be able to contain 1.1 million containers per year. Airobotics has applied its drone missions to assist in surveying reclamation areas, monitoring breakwater construction and stockpile measurements, which increases construction accuracy and accessibility, while reducing production costs, and adhering to project timelines.

“We’re proud to take part in the largest port construction project in Israel, and continue to reach more complex industrial environments,” said Ran Krauss, CEO and Co-Founder at Airobotics. “This partnership is another step on our way to leverage the automation technology we’ve created to benefit any industrial site around the world.”

Airobotics’ automated drones have been used for the past eight months for surveying the construction progress, and surveying the area daily. The seaport’s project introduces smart planning, characterized by safely documenting and evaluating project development, providing engineers, and contractors with an accurate depiction of project development, and timeline expectations. Within eight hours of drone mission completion, Airobotics delivers orthophotos to the customer, on a daily basis. Airobotics produces high-resolution aerial visuals from data that’s automatically collected, and measured using hundreds of thousands of surface points to create an accurate visual model, instead of traditional humanly operated surveying techniques that measure only hundreds of points.

Since Airobotics’ automated drones do not require human pilots for operation, users are given accurate and rapid results, which streamline workflows, eliminate logistical overhead, increase response times and data acquisition pace. Airobotics’ full automation overcomes limitations posed by manually operated drones, by having the capability to fly at high altitudes, without maintaining a line of sight, and interfering with construction infrastructure, including cranes and large equipment. Furthermore, Airobotics’ drones can efficiently, and accurately survey large areas, of up to 5 km radius around the Airbase docking station, in short mission times of under 45 minutes, which is not possible through ground based surveying. Additionally, the company’s automated drones can plan survey routes in advance.

“Drones are the future. Utilizing Airobotics’ automated drones in this project proved to be an efficient choice, and I’m certain that this valuable tool is innovating the way we operate in construction sites,” said Ofir Uzana, Senior Project Manager at Shapir Civil and Marine Engineering. “We managed to build a very reliable working mechanism using Airobotics’ system, that shows results in almost real time, which is a huge achievement.”


About Airobotics

Airobotics has developed a pilotless drone solution, the first of its kind in the global market. Airobotics provides an end-to-end, fully automatic solution for collecting aerial data and gaining invaluable insights. The industrial grade platform is available on-site and on-demand, enabling industrial facilities to access premium aerial data in a faster, safer, more efficient way.

The team at Airobotics fuses expertise in aerospace hardware design, robust electronic systems, leading software engineering, and years of experience in commercial drone operations. This varied experience has allowed them to design a solution suited to address the needs of the world’s most complex industrial environments.

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About Shapir Group

The Shapir Group is one of Israel’s largest and leading industrial and infrastructure concerns. The Group, celebrate this year 50 years of founding, is a leading manufacturer of raw materials for the construction industry, and owns concrete and asphalt manufacturing plants, and quarries throughout Israel. The Group also initiates and carries out large infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, and tunnels, including construction projects on a concession basis, such as public buildings, parking lots, and residential property.

Among the complex infrastructure projects, Shapir Engineering is building the Gulf Port at an estimated cost of NIS 4 billion. The project will be launched in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2021. The rapid pace of construction in the project is expected to speed up its delivery before the deadline. The area of the new port is 810,000 square meters (810,000 square meters), and construction has been done to extend a main breakwater at 882 meters and build a 2.1-km secondary breakwater. The marine excavations included digging 14 million cubic meters of sand and clay, drying the sea and filling 10 million cubic meters of sand. At the end of the project, the port is expected to provide a capacity of 1.1 million containers per year.

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