Robot Helps Secure Kailua Hillside

Shankar Tillotson
Shankar Tillotson

(KHNL) - You may have wondered about the robotic drills and buggies moving up and down the hillside above Kailua Road.

They have names like spider cage and wagon drill. They look like something NASA would use to explore the moon.

Construction crews working to shore up the treacherous hillside called in the perfect man for the job. Perfect robotic that is.

Crewmember Shankar Tillotson explains, "It's made for drilling in all kinds of material dirt rock whatever."

It looks like something from outer space.

"It's one of the weirdest looking drills I've ever seen" admits Tillotson.

The state is working to stabilize the area following several landslides.

Crews are using a "wagon drill". Like a billy goat it crawls up the 80 foot ledge.

Tillotson has faith in the portable drill. "That drill is perfect for going up the hillside."

They are drilling one thousand bolts into the hillside, marked by pink flags. A steel mesh net will be attached to the hillside using the bolts.

TIllotson discounts the danger, "It's not as hair raising as some other jobs we have been on."

The spider cage is a buggy that goes where no human can go.

Workers do scale the cliff but they are secured by a rappelling system.

The work above Kailua Road and is getting a lot of attention.

"Sometimes you look down have people craning heads out windows looking us give them a wave it's right outside town everyone is pretty interested what is going on."

The massive five million dollar project runs through May.