EXCLUSIVE: El Paso Water Utilities unveils new unmanned "Mini-dozer"

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - El Paso Water Utilities is testing a new unmanned vehicle called a "mini-dozer", it's essentially like a mix between a drone and bulldozer.

The new technology comes at about $130,000 per vehicle. Though they seem to be getting their moneys worth, the mini-dozer allows them to clean out storm corridors with about half of the staff they usually would need.

Before this new tech their only option was a team of at least five people with hand tools, spending large amounts of time in dark, dangerous and confined spaces. Now the mini-dozer can do the same work, all controlled by one person with a remote control. 

The mini-dozer can also go into deeper and more confined spaces EPWU crews couldn't reach before.

"We get rocks the size of Volkswagens carried in by storm water," EPWU Vice President of technical services Al Schubert said.

He says if these storm systems are not cleaned out regularly it can lead to flooding within the community.

He says there is currently only one mini-dozer in operation, but EPWU is testing to see its results and then potentially will consider getting more.

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