Window-washing drone for towers could replace human cleaners

Drones are edging evermore into the workplace, transforming the way jobs are done and enabling companies to save time, improve safety, and cut costs all at the same time. Take this enormous window-washing drone. The machine aims to replace those human-operated cradles you’ve seen dangling on the side of huge towers.


The three meter-wide, 12-rotor machine is equipped with hoses and sponges, with on-board cameras allowing the ground-based pilot to carefully monitor the washing process. Power comes via a cable running between the drone and a battery on the ground, and water is fed through a hose from a tank that’s also back on terra firma. The current design means the drone can reach a height of 350 meters, though this could increase with further development.


GRAPES INNOTECH has also created its own stabilization system to ensure the drone can cope with blustery conditions, and therefore take to the skies as and when needed. If you’re wondering about safety measures should the drone suffer a catastrophic malfunction mid-flight, then rest assured, the 55-kg (121 pound) machine won’t be tumbling onto anyone’s head, as a safety cable secures it to the top of the building.


Other applications

Now, if you’re thinking how a water-squirting drone might also work pretty darn well for fire-fighters, solar plant cleaning then GI has already thought of that. A variation of its window-washing drone has been in development for a while and works along the same lines, drawing both water and power from the ground.