Scrobby - a robot to scrub solar panels
Tom Spendlove posted on September 30, 2014 |
Scrobby is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production manufacturing for the robot that scrubs...

Stefan Hamminga spent just enough time cleaning his solar modules to learn that he didn't want to clean his solar modules anymore. He decided the job was fit for a robot and his solution is Scrobby Solar, a robot designed to clean solar panels.

Scrobby works when its sensors detect rain, scrubbing the panel surface and moving back and forth across the field. When the rain stops Scrobby goes back to its resting platform. Gravity and motors propel the robot back and forth the panels by manipulating the unit's suspension wires.


My first reaction to seeing this was the unit itself would be blocking valuable surface area and hamper the array's energy production. The resting panel on the side houses Scrobby without taking away any efficiency.


The body of the Scrobby is 240 millimeters in diameter, and 67 total millimeters high. Full weight of the unit is 1.2 kilograms. Up to a 10 meter by 20 meter surface area can be serviced by the unit. Inclination angles between 20 and 75 degrees will work with the device.


One great part of the Kickstarter campaign video is the prototype process. Hamminga is shown going through the development and a few iterations of building a working prototype. Additionally seeing the Scrobby in action is great, watching the motors and sensors move the unit across the surface of a solar array.


Hamminga's Kickstarter funding campaign is running until October 11, 2014 and as of this writing still needs more than €60,000 to be successfully funded. So far this is a disappointing turnout for a device that can revolutionize solar panel maintenance the way that the Roomba changed the way several of us vacuum.

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