GRawler - Glass Roof cleaning crawler

My new created machine to clean glass roofs

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This is my biggest and most difficult project so far. The goal was to build a machine for cleaning my glass roof. A big challenge is the steep slope of 25%. First attempts failed to drive off the complete track. The crawler slid away, the engines or gears failed. After various attempts, I have decided for the current drive.
The stepper motors are a great help, because a defined distance can be driven and the crawler can stand still without rolling back. The machine consists essentially of a caterpillar drive, a rotating brush with wiper in front of, a water tank with pump and the control electronics. A lot of parts were also created with the 3D printer. The width of the crawler depends on the glass surface and can be determined by the length of the metal profiles.


Tools needed:

  • hot glue gun
  • bench drill
  • drill 1-10mm
  • 3D Printer
  • small wrenches
  • screwdrivers
  • soldering station
  • various pliers
  • hacksaw
  • file



Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 25.47 kB - 05/29/2018 at 19:05



Eagle schematic for GRawler

sch - 677.33 kB - 05/29/2018 at 19:04



Arduino sketch for GRawler

ino - 11.00 kB - 05/29/2018 at 19:03


All STLs

x-zip-compressed - 351.06 kB - 05/29/2018 at 19:03


  • 1 × Arduino micro
  • 2 × Nema 17 stepper motor
  • 1 × Extra Long Radiator Brush (800mm)
  • 1 × plastic canister ca.2l
  • 2 × A4988 Stepper driver

View all 36 components

  • Automated steering

    Gelstronic05/31/2018 at 17:32 0 comments

    For automatic tracking I have installed microswitches on each side. The connection is already taken into account in the circuit diagram and in the software. When a switch is triggered, the opposite motor slows down.

View project log

  • 1
    The Brush

    For the rotating brush i use an extra long radiator brush, be sure that the real brush has a minimum length of 700mm, after searching the webstores a while i found the right one. Cut off the handle and let the shaft project 20mm on both sides.

    The shaft of my brush has a diameter of 5mm, this fits perfectly in the bearings of the side parts.

    To prevent the slippage of the shaft i use a small alu tube with a shrink tube, the other side is fixed by the gear.

    Tip: If the bristles are too long the rotation will get very slow/off.

    In this case simply shorten them with an electrical hair cutter, as i have done :-)

  • 2

    Think beforehand how wide the crawler should be, or how wide the lanes are to move along. The length of the profiles and threaded rods depends on that, i use 700mm.

    Make sure that the profiles dip 1-2mm into the side panels

    Through the side panels and the profiles, the threaded rods (M6 or M8) are inserted and screwed from the outside.

  • 3
    Gearbox for Brush

    The gearbox of the brush consists of 4 gears.

    For a better smoothness, the double gear is fixed with a piece of a brass tube (diameter 8mm) and screw M6.

    The other gear is fixed with a M4 screw and locknut.

    The brush gear is fixed with two M3 screws, do not forget to put the nuts in the gear wheel first.

    The motor is attached by M3 screws to the sidepart.

View all 10 instructions

Enjoy this project?



jacksonmeade951 wrote 10/30/2020 at 19:51 point

Cool project but too complicated for my taste. I would use professional cleaning services like in real life rather than spending money and time on this project. But for entertainment or educational purposes, it id a great machine.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Gelstronic wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:51 point

that looks very interesting

  Are you sure? yes | no

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