The BIGCrawler Story
The Story and Evolution of the BIGCrawler
Years ago, I was continually coming across older homes in our Central Valley area with crawlspaces that had extremely small openings to access them or extremely low overall heights which made crawling them extremely tough or in some cases potentially dangerous.
This was about the time when drones were starting to become popular and we started using one for non-accessible roofs. I started thinking about doing something similar for crawlspaces. We started with an r/c rock crawler, a GoPro, some sheetmetal and a few ideas. What started as a small personal side project soon became more serious as advancements were quickly made as we started testing it.
Control systems evolved along with camera, lighting and chassis improvements.
We bought a 3D printer and started to learn how to design and print parts. After learning some basic shape making abilities, we started printing parts for the BIGCrawler. This was when the advancements took off. As I learned how to design and print more technical and accurate parts, the BIGCrawler started
to take on its iconic sleek shape.
Many prototypes later it was ready for other inspectors to purchase and use on their own.
Building and selling the 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 the IW at San Diego in 2019. We also 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 in 2018 at the InterNACHI convention in 2018.
Our original BIGCrawler has proven to be the most capable crawlspace UGV available, we have built and improved on that with the BIGCrawler360HV.
When the chassis we used for the BIGCrawler was discontinued, we took that as the opportunity to refine the BIGCrawler using the all new chassis and all the ideas I wanted to try.
The BIGCrawler2 and BIGCrawler360 were born.
The overall height is extremely low (6-1/2” to the top of the roll bar) while the new chassis has significantly increased the ground clearance.
Custom 3D engineered and printed ABS body parts and panels have been made to create the BIGCrawler360HV. From the front bumper, designed for great approach angle and the ability to glide over vapor barriers, to the rear electronics box, with vented lid and integral leash attachment point, all work together to create a sleek and functional package. Wiring is hidden 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.
The groundbreaking use of a 360 camera in a crawlspace allows us to show our clients the crawlspace conditions in a way never done.
The remote picture taking feature done from the controller make recording crawlspace conditions easy
See The BIGCrawler 360 In Action
The BIGCrawler360HV was built using the ideas and techniques I learned from building the original BIGCrawler. These improvements have made for more control and enhanced crawlspace maneuverability to access the worst of areas.
We have sold them to home inspectors across the United States and Canada.
Although we are no longer selling them, research and development continues as we are always looking for improvements. The latest upgrade was increasing our lighting output significantly, illuminating the crawlspace as never seen before and brings us to the current model, the BIGCrawler360HV (high