Concept: UK’s robotic startup HausBots has rolled out an innovative wall-climbing robot HB1 that can climb vertical surfaces. It can move across any flat, curved, rough, and smooth surfaces and can overcome obstacles such as wires and surface bolts. HB1 can find applications in inspection and maintenance tasks including building and infrastructure inspection and surveying, and painting.

Nature of Disruption: HB1 includes four rubber tire-coated wheels that are connected to a remote control unit on the ground via a 110-volt electric tether. It leverages two integrated fans to cling to walls, pillars, and ceilings. The integrated fans draw in air from the front and back of the robot and expel it straight from behind the bot to create downforce. This helps to create about 42kg of suction force enabling the robot to move over different surfaces. It has a payload capacity of 6kg and has a 30-meter range from the ground. The robot can be equipped with different attachments including a brush, robot arm, airless spray, and concrete surveying equipment. HausBots boasts that HB1 has undergone extensive electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing to ensure that the fans are functioning properly. The startup claims that the robot does not emit any unwanted interference and emissions into the atmosphere.

Outlook: In the US, nearly 85,000 workers fall from heights resulting in deaths and severe injuries. The workers falling from the heights is costing the insurance companies nearly $1B in claims every year. HausBots claims that its HB1 robot can decrease workplace accidents as it can be used for high altitude works including painting, HD visual Inspection, and building and infrastructure surveys. The working range of the HB1 robot can be improved if the tether holding the robot can be supplied from the roof of the building.

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