The performance of robots that take on such mundane chores as vacuuming the floor, mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters has too often been disappointing. But the dream lives on in the new Winbot 7 window-cleaning robot from Ecovacs Robotics that was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. Intended for home use the white bot mesmerized attendees as it traveled across a pane of glass, cleaning as it crawled.
Ecovacs claims that the Winbot 7 is the only window-cleaning robot that can clean windows of any thickness. There are two models—the W710 is for framed windows and the W730 can be used on both framed and frameless. Unlike window bots of the past, the Winbot 7 doesn't require a magnetic support on the other side of the glass. Instead, it has a vacuum pump that seals it to the glass then cleans with a moist pad on one side, a built-in squeegee and a drying pad on the other side.
When first placed on the window, the Winbot 7 is programmed to "measure' the window and determine the best path. It does so by crawling from the bottom of the window to the top and then cleaning in a zig-zag motion. For a normal-sized window, it can complete its task in 10 minutes or less. That's plenty of time for you to grab a cup of coffee. The Winbot 7 reportedly will be available in the spring, just in time for spring cleaning, at a cost of $299 to $399.
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—Mary H.J. Farrell