R2-D2 Robot

The Idea #1, R2-D2, proposes that we create a compartment under the car's hood for a service robot, that would go out and clean the windshield, maybe the car itself. 

Let's face it, wipers hardly do the trick. Though they can remove most of the light dust, anything that sticks to the glass will be there forever unless the user manually clean the glass. All it takes is a lucky pigeon to make you drive for miles distracted by that white dot in front of you.   

Now, although this is an interesting concept, there are issues in making this idea practical.

First of all, the robot needs to be able to move on the car's surface. I believe it is possible to develop a robot with suction cup legs, pneumatic, that adhere just enough for the robot not to fall down, but not enough as to hinder movement.  A magnetic boot is out of the question since it would not work on the glass, and most likely would not work for the frame either. 

The robot doesn't need to move very quickly though. It can, clumsily, move its way around and perform the cleaning service. Here we are thinking about a robot that goes out preferably at dawn, in the garage. It might be possible to schedule the robot's action for the time when the driver is working in the office too. It is a big problem if you would want to drive your car and the robot is out of the compartment. That would require the user to manually pick and place the robot, or issue a housing command, that takes time and can be annoying. 

A sensor would be required to tell if the car is indeed parked safely, unless it's logic is purely time-based. The reason for only allowing the robot to leave when the car is parked safely is also to prevent theft.  

Things can get really pro if the robot starts learning and adapting to the user's routine. Most people keep a fairly consistent use of vehicles, and maybe this can be used to our advantage.

The thought of having self-cleaning cars is very alluring.   

BANNER IMAGE CREDITS: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC), M. Wong (UC Berkeley), and G. Orton (JPL-Caltech) 

Want to know more about this image? Follow this external link.