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Robots may replace window cleaners, painters next

More than five million jobs are thought likely to be replaced by robots in the coming decade according to some analysts, and it may be that window cleaning and painting are part of that number. A new drone design from Apellix is conceptualising the idea of a robotic painting system, which negates the need to put workers at risk on tall ladders and against tall buildings.

As one of the more dangerous jobs in the U.S., with several deaths each year due to falls, construction – especially on ladders – is something Apellix wants to change. Instead of sending men up ladders, it wants to send a quad-copter up the side of a building with an “umbilical” connection. That cable can provide power, but it also provides paint, water and anything else it might need to complete its task.

The little robot can be seen in the latest demonstration video, flying up the side of a two story warehouse and spray painting it. Apellix has fitted that same robot with a hose system and a 3,000 PSI high-velocity-paint-sprayer, allowing for its application in even the most turbulent of environments.

This could easily be applied to other liquids, such as water, which would allow pressure washing of windows and walls that are out of reach of humans or at least can’t be cleaned safely.

Apellix has other ideas too. Fitted with an expanding, self-setting foam gun and stockpile, it believes the umbilical equipped drones could build temporary igloo housing. It could theoretically “3D print” all sorts of structures autonomously with further development.

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KitGuru Says: Quite an interesting idea, not too unlike those water powered ‘jetpacks’ that you find at most holiday resorts now. Can you think of any interesting uses for it?

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