30 Oct 2013

Window cleaning robot wins at Bright Sparks

9:37 am on 30 October 2013

A robot that can clean high-rise windows has won the supreme award at this year's Bright Sparks Awards.

The annual competition, run by The Skills Organisation, requires school students to come up with solutions to everyday problems using electronics and technology.

The robot's designer, 17-year-old Sohail Abdulla, said he wanted to make window washing easier for his father, who suffers from back and knee pain, so he designed a robot that could do the job instead.

The Mt Roskill Grammar student says the robot's perpendicular arms allow it to clean a whole window without human interference.

He says he is now working on a mechanism that will allow it to move from one window to the next.

Shoe that discretely charges

A battery-charging shoe has also found favour at the Bright Sparks Awards.

Caleb Baptista, 13, also from Mount Roskill Grammar School, says a generator made from coils of wire and magnets is stored in the sole of the shoe.

It uses leg power to generate electricity, which is fed to a battery charger also concealed in the shoe.

"I wanted something that everyone can get involved with, which can be used without really being a hassle or being seen."

He says he hopes the invention, which won the award for his age group, is one day used by all New Zealanders in their daily lives.