Designed to complement the Roomba, the Scuba, and the myriad of other cleaning robots that keep your floors spic and span, the new Winbot 7 uses its suction powers to stick to and clean your windows instead. So when it’s available come April for somewhere around $US400 to $US500, you may never have to buy Windex or paper towels again.
The Winbot 7 is actually an upgrade to an older model that required a magnetic backing on the other side of the window to hold it in place. Instead, the Winbot 7 uses a pair of suction rings powered by a strong motor to cling to the side of a smooth window, while a set of soft silicone treads drive it around.
Once a strong seal is made, indicated by a colour-changing LED, the Winbot 7 will quickly explore the entire window, calculating its size so it can plan out an effective cleaning routine. After that it zig-zags its away across a pane using a pad soaked in cleaning solution to wipe off dirt and grime. Power is provided by a tethered cable that also serves as a last resort lifeline should the bot lose power and suction, but a three hour backup battery is included that will keep the suction motor running until it can be rescued. It’s a great idea, but what we all really need is a miniaturized version that can keep our smartphone displays fingerprint free.