Date:23 January 2013
Picture windows in shops and other business premises tend to require a fair bit of attention if they’re to look pristine, and sometimes this requires you to haul out a stepladder, not to mention a bucket and assorted cleaning materials. Alternatively, you could switch on your Winbot, a clever little machine that cleans windows like a pro. Showcased at CES, it attracted quite a lot of attention.
Winbot does its thing in three distinct stages, requiring no supervision and definitely no tea breaks. First, the front cleaning pad (sprayed with cleaning solution) moistens, loosens and absorbs dirt. Next, the squeegee draws the remaining waterborne dirt and dampness off the window, and finally, the rear cleaning pad wipes the window to leave it a dry and spotless. Winbot automatically determines the size of your window, then programs a path to clean it quickly and efficiently.
Once started, the robot’s internal vacuum pump generates enough suction to hold it firmly against the glass while allowing it to manoeuvre easily. It’s equipped with dual suction rings: if the outer ring senses a loss of suction, a signal is sent to Winbot’s “brain” to reverse direction and select a new path. Similarly, it adjusts its route if it encounters an obstacle such as a window frame. (I watched it at work for all of five minutes before a colleague nudged me and suggested I get a life.)