Digital Original: $40K Robot is to deliver big payoff under Conway residents homes


CONWAY, Ark. – As the saying goes, you get what you paid for.

Nothing is shorter from the truth when the city of Conway spent a few pretty pennies on “Jordan” the robot back in late 2018.

“Jordan the robot has been a game changer for the City of Conway,” says Bobby Kelly, the public information officer for Conway.

The city purchased the robotic device for about $40,000.

Jordan is used mainly underground to clear obstructions in storm drains that could have cost the city thousands of dollars to remove.

“The device allows us to get in and get out quickly – so when it rains you don’t have to worry, just call,” Kelly says.

The four-wheeled device is equipped with lights, cameras and GPS technology that can remove waste from sewer tunnels and underground pipelines to address issues far more quickly and precisely.

“It’s paying for itself in terms of man-hours already,” says Kelly. “We don’t have to have nearly the amount of people on the scene on the site to dig stuff out.”

Jordan requires three to four people to operate the device and weighs roughly around 45 lbs.

With recent historic flooding in May 2019, the tiny tank has shown to deliver big results.

“We put Jordan inside to find the exact location of the problem,” explains Kelly. “We’re able to drop a pin – GPS – with that pin location we are able to go above ground and did a precise cut into the ground and dig whatever is out of there rather than excavating an entire area – saving time and money.”

Kelly says he’s most amazed by how well the robot responds and how easy it is for city crew to use. He adds a job that would have taken weeks now takes crew members hours.

“At the end of the day, it saves us time, it saves us money and it saves your property and all three of those are a priority for Mayor Bart Castleberry,” says Kelly.

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