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Finding Solutions to a Million Dollar Mistake

Finding Solutions to a Million Dollar Mistake

This is a story of Candrone’s client’s journey of embracing technology and transitioning from traditional methods, to advanced, time saving, data driven methods.

Implementing drone technology into his contracting business has changed the game for Michael Gamberta. “To give you a brief overview of my professional background” said Gamberta, “I started out in robotics and from there I branched out on my own, as an entrepreneur in general contracting. Renovations at first and then getting into building homes […] partnering for small subdivision development, custom homes, commercial general contracting, as well as building plazas.

Before Michael’s path led him to drones, he unfortunately had to navigate through what he calls “the the million dollar mistake”. And so the story goes- “A developer I was working with was in need of a UAV LiDAR unit that could have helped plan and measure excavation for soil remediation. Traditional coring and testing with environmental consultants was going to take four weeks, which ultimately led the developer to forgo this investigation. Little did they know, this decision ended up costing six months of time and well over a million dollars. In the process of remediating, we found that 11,000 metric tonnes of soil was soaked in diesel fuel with unidentified underground barrels filled with diesel fuel that had been there for 50 years.” 

"Million Dollar Mistake" Project Site

Following this “million dollar mistake”, came the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.  As with most, the pandemic allowed for a much needed reset and reflection. So Michael set out to do some research on ways he could have avoided this disaster if it was his own project. This research led to drone solutions, which got Michael thinking about how he could potentially roll out this solution as a service. “Every developer needs a survey. Everyone needs data, and reports before they put shovels to soil, so adding UAV mapping and surveying to my arsenal is crucial” said Gamberta. 

Another area in which drones and LiDAR are going to help Michael’s surveying pertains to assessing erosion. “I live in Ontario, which is surrounded by the Great Lakes. We have immense erosion problems here. I see LiDAR as being pivotal in identifying where erosion is and being able to set out proper shoreline management”.

“The most valuable asset you have is time. Traditionally, when you want to develop a subdivision, getting a survey team out can take weeks and then it’s going to take a few more weeks for a proper survey to be delivered to you. Using UAV LiDAR solutions you get an enhanced survey service in a fraction of the time. It’s the difference between building your house this year or next.  From the initial survey to the infrastructure and environmental planning, architectural renderings,  managing construction, to selling the final product; you can do it all much more effectively and efficiently with a UAV system.”

“The other big thing I have to mention is finding a company like Candrone to stand in there with you. They provide the information you need to make the right purchase and launch you in the right direction. Without the Candrone team, I may not have made the leap. And to think this ride is only beginning.”

Check in with Michael at if you are in the Ontario area. 

To learn more about Candrone’s drone solutions contact us at

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