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Wave Goodbye to Window Washers


A robotic window washer at work.

Many companies are vying for a piece of the lucrative robotic window washer market.

Credit: Skyline Robotics

Sitting high above the city in a modern skyscraper, seeing window washers on the other side of the glass always takes you by surprise. Far above the ground, cleaners have a floor-by-floor window into the daily lives of skyscraper inhabitants as they meticulously work their way down the building. Next time you see a human dangling outside your window, wave goodbye. Robots are taking over. 

Automation was inevitable in the world of window washing, the dangerous job with a global market worth $40 billion is ripe for robots. The real surprise is why it's taken so long. Window washers have no margin for error. A 15 year period tracked by OSHA saw 88 window washing incidents, of which 62 resulted in a fatality. Dropping an unsecured squeegee can be disastrous. Roughly 60 percent of window-washing accidents are fatal, posing a serious risk to the cleaners and pedestrians below. 

Phasing out human window washers took a giant leap forward when Platinum, a building restoration and maintenance service provider responsible for washing 65 percent of New York City's Class A buildings' windows, reached a deal with Skyline Robotics for exclusive rights to use Ozmo, its high-rise window-washing robot. The deal will see operators at Platinum's window washing subsidiary Palladium Window Solutions trained and certified as Ozmo operators. Soon window washing robots will be working their way down some of NYC's most iconic skyscrapers.

From Propmodo
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