Autonomous robotic window cleaner takes first place at Intel ISEF

Oliver Nicholls, recipient of the 2018 Gordon E Moore Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, with his prize-winning automated robotic window cleane

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair has been running for several years, and previous winners developed a system of autonomous vehicles, a software tool to detect cancer and a system to improve air quality in aircraft cabins . It is the largest international pre-university science competition in the world. This year, nearly 1,800 participants from 420 partner fairs attended in 81 countries, regions and territories, all innovating for the opportunity to obtain a portion of the US $ 5 million awards and scholarships. pot prize. However, there can only be one winner, and that honor was awarded to Oliver Nicholls of Sydney, Australia, aged 19, for his prototype automated robotic window cleaner for commercial buildings.

The Gordon E Moore Award, named in honor of the co-founder of Intel, adds up to $ 75,000 and has just been delivered by a window-cleaning robot that is said to have been inspired by an employee of the winning school who suffered an accidental fall and broke his leg.

The $ 2,300 cleaning robot has eight tilting rotors mounted in a 4 x 2 configuration and is attached to a winch on the roof of a building and lowered to a dirty window. The rotors fire and move the robot away from the glass, then a spray nozzle gives the area a good soak before the rotating pads clean the foam.

The pulley system moves the robotic cleaner up, down and sideways on the window until it shines, and then transports it to the next dirty panel.

It is reported that the system can remain at work with winds of 28 mph (45 km / h) and has the potential to replace existing cleaning methods at a cost of more than $ 11,000 per job, while helping to reduce injuries to the human operators (who will no longer have to hang precariously from the sides of the buildings).

The Intel award is not the only prize that the robotic cleaner has managed to secure, Nicholls won first place in the Engineering category at the BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards in Melbourne in February.

Two finalists in the ISEF competition took home a $ 50,000 Young Science Foundation Award: Meghana Bollimpalli (17) from Little Rock, Arkansas, for their innovative and economical method for synthesizing electrode-like materials and Dhruvik Parikh (18) Bothell. Washington, for its low-cost composite membrane intended for use in large batteries that store energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind.

“Intel congratulates Oliver Nicholls, Meghana Bollimpalli, Dhruvik Parikh and all the participants in their pioneering research that will help solve some of the biggest global challenges of today,” said Rosalind Hudnell of Intel. “When students from different backgrounds, perspectives and geographies come together and share their ideas, there is no limit to what they can achieve.”

A total of $ 8,000 each was awarded to the 24 Best of Category winners, while their schools received $ 1,000 each from Intel, and hundreds of other finalists also received prizes.

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