Window washing is a $40 billion/per year industry and still mostly requires a large investment of human capital with inherent risks to human life. Amazingly, window washing only rarely causes worker fatalities, but there is always a risk of injury when people are on the exterior of buildings on scaffolding or hanging by ropes. So it is no wonder that there is interest in using machines to make this job safer and less dependent on human labor.
Here at Spraytech we have chosen to use spraydrones controlled by a drone pilot who is safely on the ground. Our drones never actually touch the glass but we are able get the glass 95% cleaner than before with our three-step process. Step 1 is a heated, pressurized and deionized water to remove solids and dust. Then we use a cold-warer soft-wash system to apply cleaning solution appropriate for the material we are cleaning: spot-cleaners on bird droppings or rust, window cleaner or facade wash, followed by another pressurized hot-water spot-free rinse.
Another potential solution to automate and make window washing more efficient is to use robotics. In fact, a company named Skyline Robotics (https://www.skylinerobotics.com/meet-ozmo) has developed a robotic window washing system and recently received additional funding to continue the development of ”Ozmo” which is the name of their window washing robot, soon to be in place on some of the most iconic buildings in New York City.
Different buildings will require different solutions, and I think there will be a place in the window washing world for robotics. However, our spray-drone technology is ready for prime-time now and we can clean smaller buildings that do not require their own robotic unit.