Grant Spotlight: Town of West Point receives funds for inspection robot

The Town of West Point, situated at the confluence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers – where they meet to form the York River, was incorporated in 1870.

With many historic buildings undergoing renovations, in addition to new construction, their building department is busy performing inspections.

However, many of the town’s historic homes have shallow crawl spaces, making inspections dangerous for staff.

To address this, West Point Building Official Ron Minick recommended the town purchase a SuperDroid inspection robot that would allow staff to perform proper inspections more easily and safely in tight crawl spaces.

When the VRSA Risk Management Grant season opened last year, West Point Human Resources Manager Donna Pauley asked department managers if they needed any new equipment. Minick put in his request for the inspection robot and it was quickly approved by VRSA.

The robot takes photos and videos in tight crawl spaces and comes with its own light for areas where it is dark. The robot saves the footage to a micro-SD card that can be transferred to a computer.

In addition to helping access shallow spaces, using the robot prevents potential injuries or hazards a building inspector could face – such as standing water, broken floor systems, sharp objects, snakes, rodents, and spiders.

“It’s just like an RC toy,” said Minick. “You drive with joysticks and have a video camera and lights and will go right around the crawl space and see what you need to see.”

Each year,  VRSA distributes Risk Management Grants to assist members in preventing and reducing losses through the purchase of new equipment, training, and professional management and leadership courses.

Learn more about the town’s new robot and how VRSA supports our members including towns, cities, counties, schools, and authorities with grant funding, in the member story video above.

VRSA’s Risk Management Grant application cycle opens each year on August 1. For more information, contact your VRSA risk services consultant.