Machine control deployed to create Balmoral maze

A photo of Balmoral Castle maze
The Balmoral maze is set to open to the public this year (Image: Sitech)

Aberdeenshire civil engineering company Nicol of Skene is using machine control systems to create a giant thistle-shaped maze on the grounds of Balmoral Castle.

Construction technology company Sitech installed Trimble Earthworks, a grade control platform, to a six-tonne excavator to achieve the near-zero tolerances needed to build the 1.2m-wide curving paths and 0.8m-wide beds of the Balmoral maze.

The team at Nicol of Skene used survey CAD software developed by Trimble to convert the original architect drawings into a 3D model.

The model was then uploaded to the working machine, and measured and calibrated from two positions by Sitech to complete the shapes needed for the design.

Nicol of Skene used a drone to check that the lines being created at ground level were precise and symmetrical.

A machine controlled excavator working on the Balmoral maze
Image: Sitech

The platform’s GPS allowed the contractor to finish the works without the need to have an engineer on-site throughout the entire project to ensure everything was accurate and precise.

Sitech said the maze groundworks were completed within 12 weeks.

The maze is scheduled to open to the public later this year.

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