The BIGCrawler Story
The Story and Evolution of the BIGCrawler
Years ago, I was continually coming across older homes with crawlspaces that had either extremely small openings or extremely low overall heights which made physically crawling them extremely difficult or in some cases potentially dangerous.
This was the time when drones were becoming popular for Home Inspectors to use, we started using them for inspecting non-accessible rooftops. I started thinking about doing something similar for crawlspaces. I started with an r/c rock crawler, a GoPro, some sheetmetal and a few ideas. What started as a small personal project soon became more serious as advancements were quickly made as we started testing and improving it.
Control systems evolved along with camera, lighting, and chassis improvements.
A 3D printer was bought, programming basics quickly learned, and we started designing and printing parts. It was here that the advancements really took off. The ability to make prototype parts quickly paid off as I learned how to design and print more technical and accurate parts. The BIGCrawler started to take on its iconic layout that all other r/c-based crawlers have since imitated.
Building and selling our BIGCrawler has taken me to many places I never would have thought of when I first became a Home Inspector. We have been fortunate to have been invited to participate at the ASHI Inspection World Conventions in Las Vegas in 2017 and San Diego in 2019. We were part of a four Home Inspector panel at the AUVSI convention at Denver in 2018. We also filmed the crawlspace of the House of Horrors at the InterNACHI convention in 2018.
Our original BIGCrawler has proven to be the most capable crawlspace inspection vehicle available, and we have built upon that foundation with every model we have sold since which includes the BIGCrawler2, BIGCrawler360, BIGCrawler360HV and now with all new BarNone edition.
Utilizing many major advancements made in r/c-rock crawler technology since we last built a BIGCrawler, BarNone was designed to be the most capable, highest performing and yet the easiest to operate crawler built to date.
BarNone’s overall height is extremely low, under 6″ to the top of the protective roll bar. Lowering the overall height was still accomplished although the new chassis has significantly increased the ground clearance. With a pair of Low Center of Gravity frame rails with the proper skid plate tilt and the new high clearance portal axles the ability to go over uneven terrain, debris and plumbing drain lines have been dramatically increased with less chance of hang ups. The all-new 4-wheel steering has cut down substantially on the turning radius and has made BarNone easier to go where you need it to and to come back to you, every time.
All new 3D engineered and printed ABS body parts and panels were designed to create BarNone. It starts with the front camera mount/bumper, the camera sits as far back and as low as possible while maintaining great approach angle and the ability to glide over and shed plastic vapor barriers, the top lid sits low and protects the centrally located electronics from damage and overhead moisture along with protection for going under low hanging materials, the rear electronics shelf with fan housing keeps the fpv transmitter running cool for proper signal transmission to the 7″ viewing screen mounted on your 10 channel controller while moving slowly through the crawlspace.
A Runcam 4K camera mounted to a pan (over 180 degrees of side-to-side movement) and tilt (can view nearly straight up, and down enough to see the terrain that you not to traverse) assembly that records all of the action in the crawlspace to the onboard memory card for the best quality possible. Wiring is solid, soldered and protected from damage, the roll bar at the top protects the camera in case of a rollover. Side panels were designed to keep cables and wires from getting wrapped around the tires. An onboard battery LED displays the remaining battery charge for monitoring remaining runtime.
Everything was designed to work in harmony together to create a UGV with the proper weight distribution, and weight bias to perform properly in a crawlspace wrapped in a sleek and functional package.
See The BIGCrawler In Action
BarNone was built using the ideas and techniques I have learned from building all the previous BIGCrawler models. These improvements have resulted in what I feel is the benchmark of all crawlspace vehicles that other companies are chasing.
We have been fortunate to have met some great people in the r/c industry that have supported our BarNone project. They include Ottsix RC, Spare Time Hobbies, AMain Hobbies, Beef Tubes, Onetoomanyrcs, and Holmes Hobbies. Highly recommended companies to support.
We are currently selling the BarNone version of our BIGCrawler. I continue improving the features and functionality of our product as I continue to gain knowledge and from the different conditions I have encountered since moving here to Florida.
We have been blessed to have also been supported by our fellow home inspectors through the sales on our now 4 generations of BIGCrawlers.
Contact us today if you have any questions or if you would like more details on how to order a BarNone to help you provide a more thorough inspection for your client.
Nothing Crawls Like a BarNone!