Ecovacs WinBot 7
After having introduced a robotic vacuum, a robotic pool cleaner, and a robot lawn mower, Ecovacs Robotics just took their ‘robo-invento-mission’ to an unprecedented direction. At the recent CES 2013, they introduced their latest addition to the robotics family: Winbot 7, an efficient window cleaning robot, capable of cleaning windows of any thickness and here to relieve you off this pesky household chore!
Available from spring 2013 (reports point to April), the Winbot will come in two models: Winbot 710 (priced at $299) and Winbot 730 (priced at $399). Winbot 710, a standard model, has been designed for windows with a frame or an apparent border while Winbot 730, the high-end model, is equipped with border detection and is capable of cleaning glass walls, frameless windows or just about any glass window.
Now you can bid grime, dust, dirt, stains, and hard-to-reach areas goodbye because the Winbot 7 has been designed for the kill! And yes, the ‘kill’ only applies to dirt and grime!
The first thing that the Winbot 7 requires to operate is a power source. In order to start plug the robot in a power socket but do not switch it on just yet. The robot cleans the surface using two non-rotating microfiber cleaning pads: the first one is to be sprayed with Ecovac’s cleaning solution that helps loosen dirt and dust (leaving no residue as the rubber squeegee behind the cloth wipes it off); while the pad on the back adds a second level of cleaning and drying.
Next you place the robot on the window you’d like to clean and turn it on. Using its powerful vacuum (two concentric suction rings that are lines with sensors on the outside), the square-shaped (weighing approximately 4.5 pounds) robot will then quickly secure itself to the glass in such a way that it will be able to move and clean simultaneously. No your part is not done yet because now you have to sit back and let the Winbot work its wonder!
Winbot is an intelligent device: It cleans windows like its solving math problems! After it is activated, the Winbot travels down to the end of the window and then travel up to the very top. In this way, it is able to map out the size of the glass pane within its sensors and draw out the most efficient path to clean it. Next, traveling in a zig-zag pattern around the window, the machine washes, squeegees, and dries it to a fresh, new, shine. We assure you that the view outside your windows will look much brighter after the Winbot is done with them!
The time that it takes to clean a window naturally depends upon the size of the window. However you don’t have to sit around and wait for that because when the Winbot is done cleaning, it will play a cheerful music to let you know that it’s finished.
For the right people, the Winbot can truly be a wonder. Let’s see how:
Unlike the window-bots of the past, Winbot 7 doesn’t rely on magnetic support to stay vertical. Having magnetic support meant the robot had to be designed in two parts: one for cleaning and one for support on the other side. As a result, that set a limitation on how thick the glass could be. Winbot overcomes that with its vacuum pump which seals the machine to the glass. Introduction of this technology also means that the noise generated by the machine (compared to the magnetic ones) is considerably less, a mere number of 55 decibels.
To prevent falls, Winbot is equipped with a mechanism of “dual, concentric suction rings”. The outer ring contains sensors which detect loss of suction. In case loss of suction is detected, the robot will change its direction and take up a new path for window cleaning. The robot’s suction rings or the pod prevent it from losing its grip as well. In case of any further problem, the device will stop cleaning, flash its indicator light and even sound an alarm.
Winbot 7 cleans your glass windows gently. The concentric rings are made of extremely soft material on the exterior which prevents scratches on the glass. While the side rollers protect the robot, itself, and also the window frame.
In case of a technical problem or power failure, the Winbot has an emergency backup battery. If there is loss of power, the battery power will automatically kick in, allowing the robot to stay in its place for hours until you finally come to the rescue or power turns back on.
The Winbot also comes with a remote control so you can force the robot back to certain directions if you feel that an area requires tougher cleaning.
Despite how amazing this robot sounds, there are still some areas that it needs to work on:
Winbot’s microfiber cleaning pad can only be used with Ecovac’s specialized all-natural cleaning formula. Other ammonia or acid-based solutions are likely to interfere with Winbot’s sensors. For this reason, you have to keep restocking on the robot’s accessories however they are available at very affordable prices. Starting from $6.99 (new microfiber pads, cleaning formula) the accessories go up to $59.99 (30 feet extension cord) depending upon your need.
The robot’s suction cups do not adhere to frosted glass or glass decorated with stickers all along it. They also fail to work on glass during temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Winbot also comes with some movement limitations: Since it isn’t cordless, therefore, the robot can only clean windows within the reach of its 10-foot power cord. Hence, often manual support is needed!
Those who have always hated manual work and grubby household chores can now take a sigh of relief. Tick window cleaning off your list because Winbot 7 can take care of that! Whether you live in a high rise apartment with windows that involve the risk of climbing ladders with buckets or if you just have large glass windows and doors at home, you can definitely rely on this little robot to help you out! Sure some might argue that it’s a pricey piece of electronic but it must be pointed out that WinBot 7 is a one-time investment and guaranteed to satisfy you with its efficient results for a long time to come. So are you ready for crystal clear windows?