Robot cleans up competition
A robotic window cleaner invented by a teenager has cleaned up at the Bright Sparks Awards.
The contraption created by Sohail Abdulla in his Mt Roskill basement laboratory took the top prize at the awards this month.
Sohail started working on the robot two years ago after seeing his father struggling to clean the windows because of back and knee pain.
"The idea is to develop it to clean high-rise buildings. A lot of people have lost their lives cleaning the windows up high," the 18-year-old says.
Last year's version won him a third prize in the Bright Sparks Awards and separately he scored the American Ambassador Outstanding Award at the Realise the Dream award ceremony.
His win saw him jetting to Phoenix, Arizona, to take part in the INTEL Science and Engineering Fair.
"This new version is completely different, I've built it again from scratch," he says.
"I've tried to make the size of the device smaller and decrease the weight."
The revised robot is now comprised of two units.
The control panel component lets the user move the device and has an LCD that monitors progress of the clean on a little map.
The cleaning unit attaches to the window and moves across using a series of suckers.
Two squeegees on the unit tackle the dirt and dust and a final wipe is done by a microfibre cloth.
The Bright Sparks judges were impressed with Sohail's design, which integrates software, electronics and mechanical engineering elements.
As the winner of the 17 years and above category he receives a $1000 cash prize. Taking the Supreme Award means he will get mentoring from Baldwin's Intellectual Property.
In his quest to improve the robot the next step will be giving it the ability to traverse over ledges.