Student Engineer Awarded for Window Cleaning Innovation

Congratulations to Oliver Nicholls, 19, from Sydney, Australia. He came first among 1,800 competitors from 81 countries, regions and territories at the 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for his window cleaning innovation, a prototype of a window cleaning robot designed for the facades of commercial buildings. The competition, run by the Society for Science & the Public is the world’s largest international  science competition for pre-college students.

Oliver entered the competition as part of the BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards Australian delegation and STANSW’s Young Scientist delegation. This was because he also was the winner of the 2018 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Award.

Oliver Nicholas invented a window cleaning robot

Image Source: www.smh.com.au

“The inspiration came when I was in school and there was a gent cleaning the awning and he fell off and broke his leg,” said Oliver, 19, who built the robot last year for his Design and Technology HSC course at Barker College.

Oliver’s prototype device uses drones, motors and propellers to navigate building facades and clean windows using water and micro-fibre scrubbers. He says his inspiration was a concern for the safety of those who have to access high exterior places to do the job of cleaning windows of large buildings.
robotzoo Window Cleaners
At robotzoo, we understand where he is coming from. Our clever window cleaners are designed to safely get to those hard to access spots, and come back to wherever they are placed on the window. Whether it’s getting in-between the display cases and front window of a retail store, or up to the top of a high mezzanine level glass curtain window, or a large picture window that’s hard to reach, the devices can do the job. They also have safety ropes, and emergency backup batteries to keep them on the window in case the power is cut off. And they are Australian Standards compliant.

But we wouldn’t claim that our devices are designed to clean the outside of a medium-rise building. Interestingly, there are very few models we know of that are designed for this, and the space is still very emergent. One we know of is the Serbot Gekko from Switzerland (not to be confused with our own ‘Gecko’), which works on building facades, solar panels, and other surfaces.
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