ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – When you’re in Downtown Abilene, you can’t miss the massive hotel construction site near the Abilene Convention Center. Many people have walked by the construction, curious about when it will be complete. Some people working on the project say they’re hopeful the hotel will be finished a little early.

One Abilene visitor, in town for the Children’s Art and Literacy Festival, said she plans to come back to town when it’s finished. That way, she can book a room and stay downtown the whole time.

What many people don’t know is that inside the construction walls, a robot is helping the workers speed up the layout process.

This robot is called Dusty Robotics System, and it draws the format for the walls of the hotel rooms through a laser tracker. This speeds up the formatting process up to five times faster than average. 

“It’ll give us a more constant outcome for our customer,” Robot Operator Iran Aguirre said. 

Intricate lines must be drawn in order to build something like this, and Aguirre told KTAB/KRBC it’s a process that is usually done by hand. 

“Compared to having two people do it line-by-line, by-line – it’s more continuous,” the operator explained. 

This robot outlines with more precision and detail than human hands can, and deletes a hefty percentage of margins for error. It also protects the people working on the project, by preventing them from having to be on their hands and knees all day in the heat. 

“It really helps everybody out,” advised Aguirre. 

It will allow the construction workers to focus on other tasks while this is being done. At the same time, Aguirre said the new technology won’t take away any jobs from construction workers. Instead, it creates more jobs for other operators.

This robot is patented by the general contractor of this project, DPR Construction, and they are looking at more innovative ways to increase speed and efficiency in construction. 

Project superintendent Grayson Lindley said the new hotel should now be complete by Spring 2023, and it’ll start to look a lot more like a real hotel this summer.

Lindley, along with many of the men and women working on the Abilene Downtown Convention Center Hotel, is not from the Big Country. Even so, he said our Abilene residents and the local construction workers have impacted him greatly in the short time he’s been here.

“There’s a lot of pride in the community, so they’ve made it a lot of fun for the team and everyone here that’s away from home,” Lindley said.