In 2009, British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas was looking to find unique perspectives for photographing African wildlife. After brainstorming methods that could get up close to the animals, but keep him safe, the BeetleCam was born. Ten years later, this remote-control buggy carrying a DSLR or mirrorless camera has seen its share of adventures. As Burrard-Lucas refined his design in an aim to make it “lion proof,” his invention has captured memorable photographs of elephants, lions, leopards, and much more.
Across Tanzania, Zambia, and Kenya, the BeetleCam has performed admirably. In its first outing, Burrard-Lucas’s invention assisted him in photographing elephants and buffalo in Tanzania. Unfortunately, this inaugural model had a tussle with a curious lion and was damaged—though it managed to take some great photographs of the encounter.
Buoyed by his initial success, Burrard-Lucas continued to develop the BeetleCam. His invention spurred a whole new business—Camtraptions—where he sells camera traps and BeetleCams to assist other photographers. At the same time, the BeetleCam has been by his side when he lived in Zambia for a year, created award-winning photographs, and published books. His newest publication, Land of Giants, shows his dedication to African wildlife. Filled with BeetleCam images of elephants in Tsavo, Kenya, the book is an homage to some of the last big-tusk elephants on Earth.
After ten years, Burrard-Lucas continues to innovate. In 2020, he plans to debut two new iterations of BeetleCam, which he will use in a new project to document lions. Scroll down to see photographs from 10 years of adventure with BeetleCam and read more about Burrard-Lucas’s experiences on his blog.
In 2009, wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas created the remote-controlled BeetleCam to document animals in Africa.
His invention has allowed him to get incredibly close to lions, wild dogs, and elephants across Africa.
Moving discretely, BeetleCam can take photographs while keeping Burrard-Lucas safe.
Of course, these wild animals are always quite curious about the moving camera.