Tactile Squeegee for Plexiglas Windows
Cleaning Plexiglas windows is not easy, you have to be careful to apply the right amount of pressure. Too little pressure and you do not clean it very well. Too much pressure and you end up scratching it. For many years I had washed and cleaned aircraft with Plexiglas windshields.
It was always a challenge with the bugs on the windows, which even on a private plane will be pelted on at 150 plus knots and then melted in the hot sun. You cannot use too much of certain cleaners for they do nothing more but haze the windscreen and make it less transparent, which can cause issues with being able to see on-coming aircraft traffic. Something the size of a bug on the window could be another aircraft only 5 miles away traveling at you very fast, add that to your airspeed and you can see the seriousness of a clean windscreen.
A squeegee sponge unit should be built to deliver a soft creamy fluid to the cleaning tool while operating small actuators of tactile sensors to control the pressure exerted onto the plexigas. Many Plexiglas windscreens on all kinds of high tech toys, aircraft and devices are molded and curved making it tough to clean quickly and evenly. Visibility is important and we need to maintain that on our human tools, which incorporate Plexiglas for windows due to its lightweight and often, flexible attributes over the brittle characteristics of glass.
Windshield wipers on a car are made of rubber and the rubber bends with the curvature of the windows, which works well and are incorporated into every car. But cars have glass windshields which do not scratch very easy as the hardness of glass is a "9" on a scale of 1-10. Where as Plexiglas is not even in the ballpark; in the future most likely we will be looking through transparent nano-tubes. The thin and much stronger nano-tube windshields will be designed to display instrumentation on the windshield as well as automatically create shading from direct sunlight. These nano-tubes will be 100 times stronger than steel and some may choose to make their entire houses out of the stuff, allowing light in at times and making them opaque at other times. But for now we need a better Plexiglas squeegee type device to prevent scratches during cleaning. Since we currently have this technology available to us and in use in modern robotics, haptics and tactile sensor research we need to immediately use it to re-design the modern day squeegee. It would sure help window cleaning companies; www.WindowWashGuys.com.
The right team of engineers could come up with something fairly quickly and it would be readily marketable to aviation enthusiasts and industry alike. Think on this.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs">www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs