Window cleaning robots aren't that new, but most of them, like the Windoro, rely on magnets to stay vertical. This requires the robot to be built in two parts and sets a limit on how thick the window glass can be. Ecovacs' Winbot 7, which was on display at CES, uses a pair of concentric suction rings to adhere to the glass, so is claimed to work on any thickness of window.
In operation, the Winbot 7 is pretty simple. It’s plugged in, placed on the glass and secured using the suction rings. Then, when activated, it maps out the glass pane and computes the most efficient path to clean it. The cleaning pad in the front of the robot then moistens and loosens the dirt, a squeegee follows to wipe away what’s left and a second pad in the rear dries as it goes. There’s also a remote control for operating the unit.
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The Winbot 7 also includes a number of safety features. According to Ecovacs, should the outer suction ring detect a loss of pressure, the robot automatically halts and reverses. For cleaning the exterior side of windows, there’s a safety pad that is stuck to the inside of the window and connected to the robot by its power cord. If the Winbot 7 loses its grip, the pod keeps the robot from falling more than a few feet. In addition, there’s a back up battery to keep the robot in place in the event of a power failure.
The Winbot 7 is anticipated to be available mid year at a price from US$299 to $399.
The video below shows Winbot 7 in action.