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  1. #1
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Video Inspection Robots

    Hi
    News Flash: Home Inspection Robot, can investigate crawl space, detect structural damage, shoot video, inspect for energy auditing, insect damage etc., listen, and record the live video feed without a human ever having to get into the crawl space. Add sensors to detect gas leaks/air flow, moisture content, while avoiding the numerous hazards of the Crawl Space.

    I am not an inspector, but I am an inventor and industrial designer. I am developing a series of inspection robots to minimize the hazards of hostile or dangerous environments including the crawl space of buildings. I am wondering what you guys think about this crawl space robot called the spider mite. www.inspectorbots.com Of course, the robot would never replace an actual human being, but it beats being cut by rusty razor blades or being bit by a brown recluse....
    Thanks,
    Chris

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Rogers View Post
    Hi
    News Flash: Home Inspection Robot, can investigate crawl space, detect structural damage, shoot video, inspect for energy auditing, insect damage etc., listen, and record the live video feed without a human ever having to get into the crawl space. Add sensors to detect gas leaks/air flow, moisture content, while avoiding the numerous hazards of the Crawl Space.

    I am not an inspector, but I am an inventor and industrial designer. I am developing a series of inspection robots to minimize the hazards of hostile or dangerous environments including the crawl space of buildings. I am wondering what you guys think about this crawl space robot called the spider mite. www.inspectorbots.com Of course, the robot would never replace an actual human being, but it beats being cut by rusty razor blades or being bit by a brown recluse....
    Thanks,
    Chris
    Chris: We have had robot inspectors in Texas for years. The Real Estate Commission licenses a new one almost daily. Roboinspectors. And, as your posts says they "would never replace an actual human being . . . "


  3. #3
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Mr Miller,
    Thanks for your reply. Do you happen to know where I can find a link to all those licenced robots you mentioned? I tried searching google for Roboinspectors and the real estate commission without much luck.
    Thanks,
    Chris


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Rogers View Post
    Hi
    News Flash: Home Inspection Robot, can investigate crawl space, detect structural damage, shoot video, inspect for energy auditing, insect damage etc., listen, and record the live video feed without a human ever having to get into the crawl space. Add sensors to detect gas leaks/air flow, moisture content, while avoiding the numerous hazards of the Crawl Space.

    I am not an inspector, but I am an inventor and industrial designer. I am developing a series of inspection robots to minimize the hazards of hostile or dangerous environments including the crawl space of buildings. I am wondering what you guys think about this crawl space robot called the spider mite. www.inspectorbots.com Of course, the robot would never replace an actual human being, but it beats being cut by rusty razor blades or being bit by a brown recluse....
    Thanks,
    Chris
    For home inspectors, If you could keep the cost below $500, you might have a market. Truth be known, if I can't crawl a crawlspace because of water, mud, etc., I kind of doubt that a RC car could do it as well. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a great idea and one with merit. Price will be the key. Home inspectors are cheap, and with the downturn in the real estate market those "gadget dollars" are few and far between.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Mr Peterson,
    Good Advice! It sounds like I need to be working on a very low end model under $500... Tell me, how important is it that the video be wireless?
    Live?, Color? what if I could make a $500 platform with a wired camera linked to a little black and white monitor? would you buy it?
    BTW. There are other reasons you may not want to go into a crawl space besides mud and water, like, tight fit, varmits, glass, rusty metal, insects, insulation, asbestos, etc.
    Thanks
    Chris


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    list of all TREC inspectors can be found here:

    http://www.trec.state.tx.us/inspecto...inspectors.asp

    There is also a formatted list on the TREC site somewhere which you could plug into a database program to get mailing labels etc.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Rogers View Post
    Tell me, how important is it that the video be wireless?
    It would be next to worthless without wireless video.

    Live?, Color?
    Yes and yes, next to worthless without both.

    what if I could make a $500 platform with a wired camera linked to a little black and white monitor? would you buy it?
    Nope.

    That wire might get caught on something and then I'd have to go in and get it myself (the reason for having it is to not go in there) or leave that $500 laying in the crawlspace. That's a lot more expensive than leaving a $5 screwdriver behind.

    BTW. There are other reasons you may not want to go into a crawl space besides mud and water, like, tight fit, varmits, glass, rusty metal, insects, insulation, asbestos, etc.
    That would need to have flotation tires and be wired like an RC airplane - gets out of range and it circles back to get signal.

    Heck, even wireless, if it gets stuck in there ...

    Great idea but so many drawbacks.

    What kind of light would it carry, how bright, what size battery to power the light, would it carry a back up light with a back up battery in case the first died, etc., long list of drawbacks and the more it costs the less likely a home inspector would be to chance "losing it", making it not being used where it was designed to go.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 01-30-2009 at 12:10 PM. Reason: speelin'
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  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    I can see it ringing around all the piers with a wire hooked to it trying to pull it out when it dies. Ah, its only 500 to leave in a whole that you cannot get to.


  9. #9
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Thanks for the rapid response guys!
    So, Let me get this straight. To be a viable product for HI, you would need a reliable live, color, wireless video inspection system. It would need a bright light with a backup battery and cost under $500.?

    How long should the power last, One hour, Four hours? all day? How many inspections does the average HI do in a day?
    Is it critical to have a pan/tilt camera?
    Do you typically have access to AC power?
    Are there big inspection companies who could afford a higher priced model?
    Would this be something you might rent for a difficult inspection?
    Thanks,
    Chris


  10. #10
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Rogers View Post
    Thanks for the rapid response guys!
    So, Let me get this straight. To be a viable product for HI, you would need a reliable live, color, wireless video inspection system. It would need a bright light with a backup battery and cost under $500.?

    How long should the power last, One hour, Four hours? all day? How many inspections does the average HI do in a day?
    Is it critical to have a pan/tilt camera?
    Do you typically have access to AC power?
    Are there big inspection companies who could afford a higher priced model?
    Would this be something you might rent for a difficult inspection?
    Thanks,
    Chris
    Chris: The best device for inaccessible places is both easy to use and free. The simple report statement: "Inaccessible - not inspected".


  11. #11
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    Wink Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Chris, thank you for your efforts in creating these robots. They definitely can/ will have applications. As you can tell, the jury here is somewhat sanguine about their use in muddy crawl spaces.

    There are two basic problems here. The first is that many crawlspaces are generous supplied with dangling wires, pits, abandoned plumbing lines and ducts, loose insulation, and other impediments that could snag the bot. The second problem is that in most cases, if the crawl space is so low that you have to use a bot (like <18"), the buyer would be advised that they are going to have enhanced costs of ownership, since nobody is going to be able to get to important structural, plumbing and mechanical components for service. Unless you can mount a 250lb plumber on the little front bumper of the bot. That might work.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    I just bought a 3watt Mini-Mag-lite that is very bright. It cost around $20 and uses 2AA batteries. If you could make it so that you could strap on a light like this that would be nice.

    Jerry gave you basically what we need. Wireless is a must.

    Would I buy one? I would beta test one for you and then help market them! Then after it proves that it is a useful tool (that is all that it would be, just another tool) I would buy one if the price was under $500.

    Battery life I would say around an hour and that would cover most crawls with ease.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    I can picture it now...Attachment 10181 Where did my robot go??
    ,
    ....
    .

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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post

    WHAT, NO ANIMATION!!
    You're slipping Billy
    .
    It was too Gory ( the insertion ) Had to think about the kiddies.

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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    To make it practical for an HI to buy (and risk losing as they will not be able to go in and get it should there be any malfunction) and use (the real task is what it would need to be able to do) -you would need:

    -> "To be a viable product for HI, you would need a reliable live, color, wireless video inspection system."
    --> Reliable, Live, Color, High resolution, Clear and crisp focus, Zoom, Wireless ... all those things.

    -> "It would need a bright light with a backup battery and cost under $500.?"
    --> Bright light, Back up light, Battery, Back up battery, Cost under $200 ... I really cannot see risking a $500 gadget to become irretrievable when one can just write the crawlspace up as "Inaccessible".

    -> "How long should the power last, One hour, Four hours? all day? How many inspections does the average HI do in a day?"
    --> Four hours would do 2 maybe 3 crawlspace inspections unless one was only to zip in, around, and back out, in which case one might as well write up "Inaccessible". Besides, we all know battery life reduces with age, use and charging, and needing 2 one hour inspections out of a 4 hour batter life might work at first, but as you use it and begin to rely on it ... the battery dies inside the crawlspace and you lose it as irretrievable. Maybe connect the power to the back up light battery to use as a back up power battery - just in case.

    -> "Is it critical to have a pan/tilt camera?"
    --> Yes. If you had tilt and not pan, that would mean you would need to use power to maneuver the unit around to pan, increasing the likelihood of it becoming irretrievable. Also, tile would need to be able to tilt down to the ground close to the front of the unit to up 90 degrees and to continue to tilt over to the opposite direction without panning, probably a 270 degree tile. There are times when you are looking one direction and want to look up and follow something back the other direction. The light would need to follow the tilt and pan, obviously.

    -> "Do you typically have access to AC power?"
    --> During the inspection, "usually", except for the foreclosures seen so often in today's market. However, a simple inverter in the truck would allow recharging between inspections.

    -> "Are there big inspection companies who could afford a higher priced model?"
    --> I would think the big inspection companies would not even by one. There may be a market to engineers, plumbers, electricians for a higher priced one, but that market would likely be quite limited.

    -> "Would this be something you might rent for a difficult inspection?"
    --> Nope. Most likely you would not know that you need it until you drive up to the house (or even not until you start looking into the crawlspace), then you either have it with you or you do without.

    I think it is a great idea. Unfortunately, many "great ideas" are not marketable due to so many complications arising from trying to apply the "great idea" that there become no market for it.

    Keep the cost to below $100 and you will sell some, but those would have many limitations.

    One thing to consider is the environment those units would be working in, you may drive into water before you realize it, and it may be *deep water* compared to that unit, if the unit cannot resist being accidentally submerged, you may not get the unit back out of the water.

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, loss of signal would need to trigger it to back track (not just go in circles like RC airplanes do) as "going in circles" may lead to it becoming irretrievable. Thus it would need navigation memory to remember the last 60-120 seconds or so of direction so it could retrace that direction back to last signal area.

    I'm envisioning two clear plastic 'hamster balls' which are water tight and allow for flotation of the entire unit, a center section which is below the center of gravity and weighted (where the batteries are located) with a camera and light turret device mounted on top of the center connecting tube. The outside of the clear plastic "hamster ball" have lateral ribs so as to not spin through mud and to allow for 'paddling' back through water, with a center rubber grip strip between two rows of those paddle ribs for harder surfaces - the two grip strips run around the center circumference of those two balls.

    Don't forget, that center connecting section would need to provide for adequate "road clearance" for obstacles it may straddle.

    Let's see now, that will be $xx,xxxx for the design guidance.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Come on Jerry.

    You want won and the wife said no.


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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    This is what we need but I read it had a sticker price of 820 million bucks. I'd have to jack up the price of the crawlspace inspection a few bucks to make it worth while.

    rick

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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    This took about an hour to draw.

    (attached drawing is copyrighted by Jerry Peck, 2009 , including the mis-spelling )

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    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 02-01-2009 at 08:39 AM. Reason: to copyright it ;-)
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    This took about an hour to draw.
    .
    Can We say Too Much Time on My Hands ?
    .



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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This took about an hour to draw.
    JP: Watch out there, or Dyson's attorney may be contacting you . . .


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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: Watch out there, or Dyson's attorney may be contacting you . . .

    Aaron,

    Who is Dyson?

    By virtue of that being original work, it is copyrighted by me.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Who is Dyson?

    By virtue of that being original work, it is copyrighted by me.
    JP: It's OK if you didn't know something - finally . . .suck it up . . .

    Dyson


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Cool Design Jerry,
    It reminds me of the Recon Scout
    Recon Scout - Contact
    Simple, elegant design, but with a 7K pricetag!
    Chris

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Aaron,

    Dyson needs to check with the people who have been using basketballs for decades now ...

    *I* only have to check with those people who make those hamster balls ... ... ummm ... on 2nd thought, maybe I need to check with them TWICE? And the people who make plastic tubes ... and ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  25. #25
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Dyson needs to check with the people who have been using basketballs for decades now ...

    *I* only have to check with those people who make those hamster balls ... ... ummm ... on 2nd thought, maybe I need to check with them TWICE? And the people who make plastic tubes ... and ...
    JP: Check that.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Aaron,

    Figured I would add the 'paddles' just for fun. Those actually make it look pretty good for wading into, through, and floating through, water and mud.

    Original work, copyrighted 2009 by Jerry Peck ... steal this and I will track you down and stick it where the sun don't shine, camera and all . How's that for copyright protection enforcement?

    Chris, one of those trailer tails like shown in that thing you posted would not work when traveling through water as it would sink, aiming the camera upward and backward.

    In mine, the weighted area at the bottom where the batteries, motors, etc., are acts to keep the bottom pointed down while the spheres rotate on the center axis.

    Clean, simple design. The spherical rotating ends would also tend to make it roll up and over/around obstacles instead of getting stuck banging straight into them. Make the sphere out of rubber and it will be able to take a bit of abuse, even bounce if dropped. Kinda cool, huh?

    Make the top of the camera turret mount domed and mount the camera in it like a large telescope in those domed roofs, dome rotates, camera pivots (not shown, thought about this after I posted it).

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    As soon as it gets stuck or meets resistance, the center box is going to spin.

    Depends on the weight in the bottom. At some point, yes, but how much weight is needed to offset that much resistance given the leverage dimensions, torque, etc., is beyond my abilities.

    In water and mud, it should be able to float and paddle its way through, hitting a wall and getting wedged, yeah, it might flip the center over - and sensor could be built-in to stop that from happening.

    I'm not the engineer, ... just the 'designer' ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  28. #28
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    The recon scout has a stiff little tail dragging to keep the center from spinning. A flexible hard rubber tail should do the trick.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Original work, copyrighted 2009 by Jerry Peck ... steal this and I will track you down and stick it where the sun don't shine, camera and all . How's that for copyright protection enforcement?
    JP: Though it looks interesting you need not worry about me hastily erecting an assembly line and spewing these little darlings out in all directions for a profit.

    I long ago divested myself of the need for big boy toys (OK, except for my cameras). There are already more than too many whiz-bang gizmos on the market for the roboinspectors to wield in lieu of actual knowledge and expertise. I won't add to the list.

    To be perfectly honest though, I did succumb a few years ago to the lure of a radio-controlled helicopter with a camera mounted on it. My intent was to use it to view roofs that I could otherwise not mount. It was a great exercise in hand-to-eye coordination - for those of you who don't already know these little MFs are difficult to fly - but it was a lost cause. I could have seen more through my third eye.


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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    With regards to battery life, easily removable rechargeable batteries would be best so that you could quickly get it back up and running quickly for the next inspection or for that extra large crawl

    Rick Sabatino
    Sabatino Consulting, Inc.
    Oak Park, IL

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    JP,
    are there little jingle bells inside your "ball wheels" and velcro linings (treads)?
    Your wheels look like my kittens toys. which proves you may only have to look around to get new ideas.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    also for roof inspections
    hhtp://users.skynet.be/fa926657/files/B29.wmv


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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Randy,

    I started out based on 'plastic hamster balls', the kind they run around in, then went to rubber balls, then to closed cell foam rubber balls with that slick coating on them like you find on those foam knee pads. Making them more durable, lighter, and water tight.

    However, being as Chris is the industrial designer, and it was his project, I'm letting him figure it out - I offered some ideas and made a rough sketch of it.

    I suspect 'the housing', which would include the flotation spherical wheels and the center piece where everything else mounts, could be made in China for under 2 bucks. Should not take much to do the rest of it either, maybe 25-50 bucks, then there is the remote controller - another 5-10 bucks, the cost should be well under 50-75 bucks to produce it, triple the price to sell it and that would make it retail for $150-200.

    Take one off the assembly line and sell it to the government for $5k to undercut that other thing, make your investment back right there. Then, offer to sell 1,000 of them to the government at $2500, ONE-THIRD PRICE compared to the other one. Chris retires with $2 mil plus in the bank. Hey Chris, I get 10%.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  34. #34
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Hell, I'd buy one!

    I think any wireless tool you put into a crawlspace, is eventually gonna get stuck...


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    I would buy one, Even if I didn't use it all the time I would play with it with the grand kids. If you could put a arm on it I could send it out to the mail box and retrieve the junk mail.
    I could send it under my car and check stuff.
    Fetch the news paper.
    Chase the cat.
    Remove bomb threats.
    Play with toxic mold (I know there is no such thing)
    Impress the clients setting radon canisters.
    If you make a mini me bot I could send it into heat exchangers.
    Spy on neighbors (did i say that!)

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  36. #36
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    I would buy one, Even if I didn't use it all the time I would play with it with the grand kids. If you could put a arm on it I could send it out to the mail box and retrieve the junk mail.
    I could send it under my car and check stuff.
    Fetch the news paper.
    Chase the cat.
    Remove bomb threats.
    Play with toxic mold (I know there is no such thing)
    Impress the clients setting radon canisters.
    If you make a mini me bot I could send it into heat exchangers.
    Spy on neighbors (did i say that!)


    And your neighbors are into what????????????????????? And what does the woman look like???????????????? I might want a video


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    She's hot!!!!

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  38. #38
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Well
    I finally got the cost down on the Spider Mite Video Inspection Robot. it's now only $2800 Ready to Run. Inspectors are starting to order them! I've improved the runtime, transmission range, and the resolution of the onboard camera.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY NICHOLAS View Post
    JP,
    are there little jingle bells inside your "ball wheels" and velcro linings (treads)?
    Your wheels look like my kittens toys. which proves you may only have to look around to get new ideas.
    That would be hilarious to have the house cat encounter this thing in the crawl and play, and swat at it until the batteries ran out. Gonna have to design a zapper or laser thingy in it Jerry...to ward off fluffy...or fido...or...

    ...better yet, just use the hampster balls (modified) and put hampsters in them....less battery power needed.


  40. #40
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    Chris Rogers Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    I just built a Video Inspection Robot with a 24" arm. It is a modified "Spider Mite Robot" with some custom features. It was built for an Inspector to find evidence of termites in homes. It has a camera and light mounted on the end of the arm, so he can check on top of the mud sills for termite droppings. It also has a ground probe, so he can flip over pieces of wood to inspect for ground termites. It also has a probe mounted on the arm, so he can tap on wood joists, and beams to check for soft wood-evidence of termites. There is more info on Spider Mite Videos
    Now he can show the homeowner live video feed of his inspections.

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  41. #41
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
    Chris Rogers Guest

    Default Re: Picture Taking Robot

    Regarding the Spider Mite Video Inspection Robot.
    Making Photographic Prints from Inspectorbot Robotic Systems.

    You can now make prints of areas of interest in your video inspections. Using a DVR, a Spider Mite Robot and some software you can now include pictures of your inspections in your inspection reports. The DVR upgrade option is available for any Inspectorbot Robot with a camera.

    For More information Contact:
    Chris Rogers
    303-665-4730


  42. #42
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
    mike huntzinger Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Chris i got a spy bot from TOYS-R-US and it is wireless rc car w sound but the ony reason it was used becase i could not fit under the beams where i needed to look, so the car also needed to fit under beams and with a flashlight straped to the roof some areas will be trouble,


  43. #43
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
    Chris Rogers Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    RE
    Chris i got a spy bot from TOYS-R-US and it is wireless rc car w sound but the ony reason it was used becase i could not fit under the beams where i needed to look, so the car also needed to fit under beams and with a flashlight straped to the roof some areas will be trouble,
    How did that spy bot work for you?
    was the image clear?
    could you record the image?
    What was the range?


  44. #44
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
    mike huntzinger Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    it worked fine, the brighter light was better, range was not an issue , but could not save the video but when looking for termites it was not needed


  45. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Central Arkansas
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    32

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    Chris i got a spy bot from TOYS-R-US ...,
    Thats what I was thinking about while reading these posts. My son got a Spynet remote camera for Christmas and it is a the right size to go where I can't. If it could record, I think I would steal it from him. they are only $120 or so. If you can make one that records for around this price you may have something.


  46. #46
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
    Chris Rogers Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    I finally designed and built a platform for building inspectors. It's a rugged, compact, system with a built-in camera and 4-wheel-drive called the MINIBOT. It can be used for inspections in crawl spaces and other hard to access areas. The platform transmits a live video feed to the inspector, who is outside the dirty, dangerous and dark crawl space or hard-to-access area driving the vehicle, while looking at the monitor in an included field kit. The MINIBOT can also be used for surveillance, security, education and research.
    You could probably even mount a thermal imaging camera to it...
    Get more information at:
    Inspector Bots Home inspection| Video |Fun| Surveillance| Rescue| Investigation| Hazmat| UGV| | Industrial| IR| VR|| Wireless|

    Videos:
    MINIBOT Inspection Robot.m4v - YouTube
    MINIBOT Cat-6 Cable Installation.m4v - YouTube

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  47. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Neat. Only 10lbs and 4 wheel drive with lights and camera.

    Can it climb over 4 inch waste pipe suspended 2 inches off the ground?

    In other words, crawlspaces are not flat ground. There are often pipes and other debris that must be climbed over that do not have ramps. Yes, your device can climb a wall and flip itself over and keep going but can it climb over obstructions taller than the tires?

    Does the camera angle and zoom or does the camera only look straight forward? Do the lights follow the angle of the camera or just straight ahead?

    Crawlspace inspection is often not about what is at ground level but where the framing meets the foundation wall. Or the utilities secured to the framing.

    The device looks sturdy and robust. Just looking at areas not covered in your video that I think it would have to be able to accomplish to useful in home inspection.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    5,005

  49. #49
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
    Chris Rogers Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    The Minibot has a certain set of features which are very cool: It can rotate in place, if it flips over, it can keep going and yes the lights always follow the camera. It would not be able to climb over 4 inch waste pipe suspended 2 inches off the ground, but it might be able to go under it. In this model the camera does not zoom or angle up. It can "look" left or right by rotating the base itself.
    I have another model called the Spider Mite which has a pan and tilting camera. In this model, the light is mounted alongside the camera and follows the camera. This model can jump over a 6 inch waste pipe! I have even built custom arms for the Spider Mite to inspect sills at 24" high.
    Building Robots for inspection is a balancing act between capabilities and affordability.
    Spider Mite Videos
    Inspection Robot Jumping Pipes.m4v - YouTube

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  50. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
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    301

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Chris,

    That is an interesting idea but it would never work for many who do thorough work. For me to do a proper home inspection and pest inspection requires probing, lifting materials, pulling insulation and over, under and around many things a bot can not go.

    If I can not go there then there is an issue that needs correction. By definition in my state if I am unable to access an area in the crawl it is a conducive condition for WDO's.

    But I would love to test drive it for you, for fun.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  51. #51
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
    Chris Rogers Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Thanks for your feedback. The bots are another tool to add to your toolbox, like a flashlight or a ladder. They are not meant to replace the dexterity and abilities of a skilled inspector, but merely to extend his range and capabilities. BTW, I do have a robot which can probe and lift objects like insulation or a 12" long 2x4 and inspect under them with it's light and mini camera. It's called the "XTerminator". Check it out.
    Chris

    Inspection Robot with Arm.m4v - YouTube
    Spider Mite
    Spider Mite
    Spider Mite

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  52. #52
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

    Pretty cool, but out of my league.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  53. #53
    Chris Rogers's Avatar
    Chris Rogers Guest

    Default Re: Video Inspection Robots

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Rogers View Post
    I finally designed and built a platform for building inspectors. It's a rugged, compact, system with a built-in camera and 4-wheel-drive called the MINIBOT. It can be used for inspections in crawl spaces and other hard to access areas.
    You could probably even mount a thermal imaging camera to it...

    Well I haven't attached a thermal imaging camera to the MINIBOT yet, but I did have an Inspector who needed to include photos in his reports. So I developed the DigiBot which is a MINIBOT with a digital camera mounted to it. The Inspector can now control the camera mounted to a pan/tilt device on the platform. He uses the live feed video to drive and "see" what the bot sees and when he sees something interesting, he can fire the camera remotely to capture a still for his inspection report. The images can be downloaded to a computer and saved. The Digibot also includes diffused headlights for seeing in the dark, and upgraded 4WD wheels for better traction in the unpredictable terrain of the crawl space.
    Who wants one?
    Get more information at:
    info@inspectorbots.com
    Inspector Bots Home inspection| Video |Fun| Surveillance| Rescue| Investigation| Hazmat| UGV| | Industrial| IR| VR|| Wireless|

    Videos:
    MINIBOT Inspection Robot.m4v - YouTube

    DIGIBOT YouTube



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