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DE102015101290B3 - Window cleaning robot - Google Patents

Window cleaning robot Download PDF

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Publication number
DE102015101290B3
DE102015101290B3DE102015101290.1ADE102015101290ADE102015101290B3DE 102015101290 B3DE102015101290 B3DE 102015101290B3DE 102015101290 ADE102015101290 ADE 102015101290ADE 102015101290 B3DE101290DE103
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DE
Germany
Prior art keywords
window
cleaning robot
chain
window cleaning
drive
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
DE102015101290.1A
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English (en)
Inventor
Martin Meggle
Jens Greving
Jan Von der Heyden
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Vorwerk and Co Interholding GmbH
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Vorwerk and Co Interholding GmbH
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Publication date
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Priority to DE102015101290.1ApriorityCriticalpatent / DE102015101290B3 / de
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Images

Classifications

    • A — HUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47-FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L — DOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L1 / 00 — Cleaning windows
    • A47L1 / 02 — Power-driven machines or devices
    • A — HUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47-FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L — DOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L11 / 00 — Machines for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L11 / 40 — Parts or details of machines not provided for in groups A47L11 / 02 - A47L11 / 38, or not restricted to one of these groups, e.g. handles, arrangements of switches, skirts, buffers, levers
    • A47L11 / 4063 — Driving means; Transmission means therefor
    • A47L11 / 4066 — Propulsion of the whole machine
    • B — PERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62 — LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62D — MOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D57 / 00 — Vehicles characterized by having other propulsion or other ground engaging means than wheels or endless track, alone or in addition to wheels or endless track
    • B62D57 / 02 — Vehicles characterized by having other propulsion or other ground- engaging means than wheels or endless track, alone or in addition to wheels or endless track with ground-engaging propulsion means, e.g. walking members
    • B62D57 / 024 — Vehicles characterized by having other propulsion or other ground-engaging means than wheels or endless track, alone or in addition to wheels or endless track with ground-engaging propulsion means, e.g. walking members specially adapted for moving on inclined or vertical surfaces

Abstract

Description

  • The invention relates to a window cleaning robot for the automated cleaning of a window surface.
  • Various window cleaning robots are already known from practice for the automated cleaning of window surfaces. Since most windows are typically perpendicular to the floor, the problem of keeping the robot on the window surface must be regularly solved with these window cleaning robots. The window cleaning robots available up to now essentially solve this in two different ways. A first solution is to fix the window cleaning robot to the window surface using magnetic force. For this purpose, e.g. two strong magnets can be provided, which are arranged on the inside or the outside of the window. Such a device is shown in FIG. Another solution is to create a vacuum so that the window cleaning robot can practically “suck” itself onto the window surface.
  • These solutions for holding a window cleaning robot on a window surface both involve a high expenditure of energy. In addition, both solutions only offer insufficient protection against a crash of the window cleaning robot. In the case of magnetic fixation, the thickness of the window to be cleaned is very important. With the increasing trend towards ever thicker windows, e.g. with triple glazing, stronger and stronger magnets have to be chosen to keep the window cleaning robot on the window surface. From a certain thickness of the window, this can practically no longer be achieved with permanent magnets, so that electromagnets have to be used. As a result, additional energy is required.
  • In order to generate a vacuum and thus hold a window cleaning robot on a window surface, a fan including a motor is required. In addition to the heavy weight of the fan and motor, there is also the problem of high energy consumption and, in addition, a high noise level.
  • With both solutions, the question of securing the window cleaning robot in the event of a power failure also arises. If the window cleaning robot is to be operated from the mains, a reserve battery could be used. However, this only alleviates the problem in terms of time. As soon as the battery is empty, a window cleaning robot secured in this way would crash, which not only can damage it, but also pose a potential danger to people and animals.
  • Based on this, it is the object of the invention to specify such a window cleaning robot which can be held on a window surface in a simple and safe manner and at the same time ensures good cleaning of the window surface.
  • This object is achieved by the subjects of the independent claims. Preferred developments of the invention are specified in the subclaims.
  • The invention thus lies in a window cleaning robot for the automated cleaning of a window surface, with a chain drive having a plurality of chain segments for moving the window cleaning robot on the window surface and a removal lip for removing dirt and / or moisture from the window surface, the chain segments on their outside with are provided with a dry adhesive material that enables the window cleaning robot to adhere to the window surface.
  • It is thus an essential aspect of the invention that the window cleaning robot according to the invention is provided with such a chain drive which has chain segments coated with a dry adhesive material. The dry adhesive material on the outside of the chain segments, i.e. on one side with which the window cleaning robot according to the invention can be placed on a window surface to be cleaned, thus provides the adhesive force to hold the window cleaning robot on the window surface and also to move it there.
  • The removal lip of the window cleaning robot according to the invention is provided for removing adhesions on the window surface. On the one hand, this can be dirt on the window surface and / or moisture that has got onto the window surface, e.g. due to rain. The removal can also include moving the dirt or moisture, e.g. to an edge of the window surface, similar to a pull-off lip.
  • Dry adhesive material that enables the window cleaning robot to adhere to the window surface is well known in the art. A material that has been found to be particularly suitable here is made by Gottlieb Binder GmbH & Co. KG, Holzgerlingen, Federal Republic of Germany, under the name “Gecko® Nanoplast®“Is offered and distributed. This is a silicone film with a thickness of about 0.34 mm and microscopic elements on the adhesive side. The number of microscopic elements is about 29,000 per cm2. These elements adhere to all smooth and even surfaces, even if they are damp or wet or dirty, e.g. greasy or soapy.
  • The function of this silicone film is based on Van der Waals forces, so that adhesive forces are generated with which a weight of up to 100 g per cm2 can be held. This holding force applies to an orthogonal load. However, the material can be removed relatively easily by shearing. These adhesive properties of the material help it to be used as a chain drive insofar as with orthogonal loading, i.e. in the middle of a drive chain of the chain drive, a very strong adhesive force is made available to hold the window cleaning robot on the window surface. In the event of a shear load, that is to say in the deflection area of ​​the drive chain, the material can be loosened relatively easily, so that safe movement of the window cleaning robot according to the invention on the window surface is also ensured.
  • It goes without saying that the material described above is not the only dry adhesive material with which the invention can be practiced. In principle, any dry adhesive material can be used with which such a holding force can be exerted that enables the window cleaning robot to adhere securely to the window surface.
  • In principle, different arrangements of the chain drive and the removal lip with respect to one another are possible in order to implement the window cleaning robot according to the invention. For example, the chain drive and the removal lip can be arranged laterally offset to one another when viewed in the intended direction of movement of the window cleaning robot during operation. According to a preferred development of the invention, however, it is provided that the chain drive and the removal lip are arranged one behind the other, viewed in the intended direction of movement of the window cleaning robot. In this way it is ensured that the chain segments of the chain drive provided with the dry adhesive material always hit an area of ​​the window surface over which the window cleaning robot has already moved with the removal lip. The chain segments thus always hit areas of the window surface that have already been cleaned, which counteracts soiling of the chain segments provided with the dry adhesive material. This ensures that the window cleaning robot adheres well to the window surface for a long time.
  • The chain drive can be a simple chain drive with a plurality of chain segments, which together form the drive chain, and two drive wheels, which are preferably arranged at the beginning and at the end of the chain drive, also seen in the direction of movement of the window cleaning robot. According to a preferred development of the invention, however, a chain tensioner is provided for tensioning the drive chain formed by the chain segments. With such a chain tensioner, a predetermined minimum tension of the drive chain can always be guaranteed, with which an effective power transmission from the drive chain to the remaining components of the window cleaning robot for moving the robot on the window surface can be ensured. In this context, it is very particularly preferred that the chain tensioner is arranged on the side of the window cleaning robot opposite the side with the removal lip. This makes it possible for the chain tensioner to hold the chain in a predetermined tension state by a movement perpendicular to its intended direction of movement, without the drive of the window cleaning robot or the cleaning function being hindered.
  • In principle, it can be sufficient for the window cleaning robot to be provided with the removal lip for cleaning the window surface. With this, dirt or moisture adhering to the window surface can be removed, e.g. moved to one side of the window. According to a preferred development of the invention, however, a humidifying device is provided for humidifying the window surface. Such a humidifying device integrated into the window cleaning robot has the advantage that the window cleaning robot does not have to rely on the window to be cleaned being humidified in any other way, e.g. due to rain or due to a separate humidification of the window surface by a user of the window cleaning robot. While dirt, such as dust, could in principle also be removed from the window surface without moistening, moistening the window surface is preferred, since in this way the dirt can be loosened and removed more easily and scratching of the window surface during cleaning is counteracted. In this context, it is very particularly preferred that the humidifying device, viewed in the intended direction of movement of the window cleaning robot during operation, is provided in front of the removal lip.
  • As previously stated, dirt or moisture adhering to the window surface can simply be moved with the removal lip, so that, similar to cleaning a window with a removal lip by hand, dirt and moisture are transferred to the lower surface by means of the removal lip Edge of the window have been brought, can easily drain from there. According to a preferred development of the invention, however, it is provided that the window cleaning robot has a suction device for sucking off moisture from the window surface. In this way, the removed dirt or the removed moisture is disposed of directly, so that, in particular, contamination of the area under the window to be cleaned can be largely avoided. In this context, it is particularly preferred that the suction device is arranged in the area of ​​the removal lip. The shorter the path between the removal lip and the suction device, the lower the risk that dirt or moisture removed is otherwise distributed on the path between the removal lip and the suction device and possibly at least partially remains on the window surface to be cleaned.
  • In principle, the chain segments of the drive chain can be provided directly with the dry adhesive material. According to a preferred development of the invention, however, the chain segments are coated with an elastically deformable coating, which in turn is coated with the dry adhesive material. The elastically deformable coating preferably has an elastomer such as rubber or thermoplastic polyurethane. The chain segments are preferably made of a hard material, preferably a hard plastic such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS). It is very particularly preferred that the elastically deformable coating is glued to the hard material of the chain segments.The connection between the elastically deformable coating and the dry adhesive material is also preferably implemented by means of adhesive bonding.
  • In principle, mains operation of the window cleaning robot is possible. To operate the window cleaning robot, it is connected to a socket using a power cord. According to a preferred development of the invention, however, the window cleaning robot has an electrical energy store. This electrical energy store can basically be charged via the power grid. According to a preferred development of the invention, however, the window cleaning robot also has a photovoltaic module. In this way, the energy store can be charged by means of solar energy, so that the window cleaning robot according to this preferred development of the invention can basically act independently. In particular, no charging via the mains and therefore no cable is required.
  • Furthermore, according to a preferred development of the invention, the window cleaning robot is provided with a rain sensor. This makes it possible to position the window cleaning robot on the outside of a window and to initiate a cleaning process in an automated manner whenever the exposure of the outside of the window to moisture has been detected by means of the rain sensor. In this context, such a configuration of the window cleaning robot is particularly preferably provided, according to which the window cleaning robot only has the removal lip for cleaning the window surface, but preferably neither a moistening device nor a suction device.
  • The function of this window cleaning robot is such that whenever the application of moisture to the window surface to be cleaned has been detected by means of the rain sensor, the window cleaning robot moves over the surface of the window to be cleaned, preferably in a meandering shape from top to bottom. The window cleaning robot pushes the moisture applied to the window surface together with the dirt there in front of it, similar to snow on a snowmobile, so that dirt and moisture ultimately reach the lower edge of the window. In this way it is possible to clean the window after every rain shower, so that a clean window is available again immediately after every rain. This embodiment of the window cleaning robot is particularly preferred in combination with an electrical energy store in the window cleaning robot, such as an accumulator, which can preferably be charged by a photovoltaic module also provided in the window cleaning robot.
  • The invention also relates to a method for the automated cleaning of a window surface with a window cleaning robot, as described above, characterized in that the chain drive and the removal lip are arranged one behind the other and the window cleaning robot is moved over the window surface in such a way that an area of ​​the window surface to be cleaned is first off a chain segment of the chain drive and then acted upon by the removal lip. This has the advantage described above that the chain segments of the chain drive provided with the dry adhesive material always hit an area of ​​the window surface over which the window cleaning robot has already driven. The chain segments thus always hit areas of the window surface that have already been swept over by the removal lip and thus cleaned, which can largely prevent soiling of the chain segments provided with the dry adhesive material. This ensures that the window cleaning robot adheres well to the window surface over a long period of time.
  • Incidentally, according to a preferred development of the invention, it is provided that the window cleaning robot is moved downwards in a meandering shape from the upper edge of the window, with the window cleaning robot being parked there particularly preferably after the automated cleaning has been completed at the lower edge of the window.
  • The invention is explained in more detail below on the basis of preferred exemplary embodiments of the invention with reference to the drawings. In the drawings show:
  • schematically a window cleaning robot according to a first preferred embodiment of the invention,
  • schematically a window cleaning robot according to a second preferred embodiment of the invention,
  • schematically the cleaning path of a window cleaning robot according to the second preferred embodiment of the invention on a window to be cleaned and
  • schematically, a chain segment of the drive chain of the chain drive according to a preferred embodiment of the invention in section.
  • A window cleaning robot in its state placed on a window surface of a window to be cleaned can be seen schematically in FIG. The window cleaning robot has a base body that carries the remaining components of the window cleaning robot. A chain drive is provided within the base body, which has a drive chain with a plurality of chain segments. Also part of the chain drive are two drive wheels that define the front and rear deflection areas of the drive chain.
  • Furthermore, the window cleaning robot according to the presently described first preferred exemplary embodiment of the invention has a removal lip made of rubber for removing dirt and / or moisture from the window surface. The suction opening of a suction device is arranged directly adjacent to the removal lip. The material extracted by means of the suction device is collected in a collecting container inside the window cleaning robot. In order to moisten the window surface, a moistening device is also provided with which the moistening agent provided in a tank, in this case water with a cleaning additive, can be applied to the window surface. The window cleaning robot is controlled via a central control unit, which also has a rotating infrared sensor (not shown) for navigation.
  • In addition, a chain tensioner is provided with which the drive chain of the chain drive can be tensioned and thus kept in a predetermined minimum tension state. The chain tensioner can be moved perpendicular to the drive chain that is guided past it and is supported against the main body of the window cleaning robot. In this way, the path to be covered by the drive chain can be lengthened, as a result of which the tension of the drive chain increases.
  • The window cleaning robot according to the presently described first preferred embodiment of the invention now has such chain segments of the drive chain of the chain drive, as shown schematically in FIG. The chain segment shown there schematically in section has a base element made of ABS plastic. An elastomer, namely thermoplastic polyurethane, is glued to it. Finally, a dry adhesive material is applied to the outward-facing side of the elastomer, also by gluing. In the present case, the dry adhesive material is a film produced by Gottlieb Binder GmbH & Co. KG under the name “Gecko® Nanoplast®“Is offered and distributed. This is a silicone film with a thickness of about 0.34 mm and microscopic elements on the free side for attachment to the window surface of the window by means of adhesive forces.
  • In the area of ​​orthogonal loads, i.e. in the middle of the chain drive between the two drive wheels, this silicone film can be used to achieve adhesion that is per cm2 a weight of 100 g can be held. With a width of the chain elements of the drive chain of 5 cm and an effective length of the drive chain between the two drive wheels of 20 cm, an adhesion can be achieved with which a total of kg can be held. This is easily sufficient for the presently described window cleaning robot according to the first preferred exemplary embodiment of the invention, to be precise even when the tank or the collecting container is completely filled.
  • While the above-described window cleaning robot according to the first preferred embodiment of the invention is provided with a humidifying device and a suction device and is therefore particularly suitable for cleaning window surfaces that represent the inside of a window of a building and are therefore not moistened by the weather, so that a separate humidification is required or is at least helpful for cleaning, shows a window cleaning robot that has neither a humidifier nor a suction device and only has a rubber removal lip for cleaning the window surface of the window. The other components of the window cleaning robot according to the second preferred embodiment of the invention are essentially the same as in the window cleaning robot according to the first preferred embodiment of the invention.
  • The removal lip of the window cleaning robot according to the second preferred exemplary embodiment of the invention is, however, made much larger than that of the window cleaning robot according to the first preferred exemplary embodiment of the invention. The reason for this is that the window cleaning robot according to the second preferred embodiment of the invention is intended for the following cleaning use:
    While, compared to the window cleaning robot according to the first preferred embodiment of the invention, the window cleaning robot according to the second preferred embodiment of the invention has no humidifying device and no suction device, the window cleaning robot according to the second preferred embodiment of the invention is additionally equipped with two photovoltaic modules, an electrical energy store and a Rain sensor provided. The electrical energy store in the form of an accumulator can be charged by means of the electrical current that is generated by the two photovoltaic modules. In this way, it is possible to use the window cleaning robot from FIG. 4 in such a form that it remains permanently arranged on the outside window surface of a window, wherein it carries out a cleaning process to clean the window surface after each rain shower.
  • By means of the rain sensor, the window cleaning robot detects when it is raining and, in particular, also when a rain shower has ended, so that after the rain shower has ended, it traverses the window surface of the window in the manner that can be seen. Specifically, the window cleaning robot begins at the upper edge of the window with its movement on the window surface and then moves in a meandering shape, as shown by the line shown in FIG. 4 and the arrows, downwards. Due to its large abrasive lip, the window cleaning robot pushes the moisture applied to the window surface by the rain and the dirt dissolved in it in front of it, similar to the manual cleaning of a window surface with a pull-off lip. The dirt and moisture collected in front of the removal lip are brought to the lower edge of the window in this way, so that the collected material can drip off the window from there. This enables automated cleaning after every rain shower, so that a clean window is available practically at all times.
  • 1, 1'
    Window cleaning robot
    2
    Window surface
    3
    window
    4
    Base body
    5
    Chain drive
    6
    Drive chain
    7
    Chain segments
    8
    Drive wheels
    9
    Ablation lip
    10
    Suction opening
    11
    Suction device
    12
    Collection container
    13
    Humidifier
    14
    tank
    15
    central control unit
    16
    Chain tensioner
    17
    Basic element
    18
    Elastomer
    19
    dry adhesive material
    20
    Photovoltaic modules
    21
    electrical energy storage
    22
    rain sensor

Claims (11)

  1. Window cleaning robot for the automated cleaning of a window surface (), with a chain drive () having a plurality of chain segments () for moving the window cleaning robot on the window surface () and a removal lip () for removing dirt and / or moisture from the window surface (), wherein the chain segments () are provided on their outside with a dry adhesive material (), which enables the window cleaning robot to adhere to the window surface ().
  2. Window cleaning robot according to claim 1, characterized, that the chain drive () and the removal lip (), viewed in the intended direction of movement of the window cleaning robot, are arranged one behind the other.
  3. Window cleaning robot according to claim 1 or 2, characterized, that a chain tensioner () is provided for tensioning a drive chain () formed by the chain segments ().
  4. Window cleaning robot according to one of the preceding claims, characterized, that a humidifier () is provided for humidifying the window surface ().
  5. Window cleaning robot according to one of the preceding claims, characterized, that a suction device () is provided for sucking up moisture from the window surface ().
  6. Window cleaning robot according to one of the preceding claims, characterized, that the chain segments () have an elastically deformable coating, which in turn is coated with the dry adhesive material ().
  7. Window cleaning robot according to claim 6, characterized, that such a dry adhesive material () is provided, the adhesion of which to the window surface () is based on Van der Waals forces.
  8. Window cleaning robot according to claim 6 or 7, characterized, that the dry adhesive material () has a multitude of microscopic silicone hairs.
  9. Method for automatically cleaning a window surface () with a window cleaning robot () according to one of the preceding claims, characterized, that the chain drive () and the removal lip () are arranged one behind the other and the window cleaning robot () is moved over the window surface () in such a way that an area of ​​the window surface () to be cleaned is first from a chain segment () of the chain drive () and then from the Ablation lip () is acted upon.
  10. Method according to claim 9, characterized, that the window cleaning robot () is moved downwards in a meandering shape from the upper edge of the window.
  11. Method according to claim 9 or 10, characterized, that the window cleaning robot () is automatically parked at the bottom of the window () after the automated cleaning process.
DE102015101290.1A2015-01-292015-01-29Window cleaning robot ActiveDE102015101290B3 (de