Robots to repair glass façades

Students at the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil have developed various prototypes of robots that repair damages to glass façades for the industrial partner Vetrox. The company plans to integrate elements of the prototypes into its own technology.

Image Credit: HSR

Ten groups of students in the mechanical engineering and innovation programme at the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil (HSR) each designed a prototype of a robot for the industrial partner Vetrox AG. The robots are designed to position heavy glass grinding machines onto a glass façade to carry out the required repairs.

Vetrox AG from Altendorf in the canton of Schwyz, which specializes in repairing glass surfaces, currently has repairs carried out by employees who use rope winches for cleaning high-rise façades. In two years, however, the plan is for robots to work on the huge glass surfaces at these dizzying heights.

The ten prototypes were developed by the HSR students over the course of two semesters and took around 10,000 hours of work. They were presented to Vetrox AG at the beginning of last week, which assumed the material costs of 60,000 Swiss francs.

“Our assignment was about possible concepts and testable prototypes, not robots that can be used immediately,” explained Vetrox managing director Bernhard Dür. “Our fully-developed solution will likely contain several elements of the HSR prototypes.”

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