Robots Come and Go, But Some Trades May Always Be Manual

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Advertised as the first full-service window washing robot, the Winbot 7 is a kind of Roomba for your windows. Winbot’s manufacturers say the machine is just a few iterations away from scaling the walls of the city’s high-rise apartments.

But can a robot really replace a real, live window washer? Patrick J. Shields, a 25-year window washer and owner of Shields Window Cleaning, says no way. Shields says window cleaning robots come along every few years, but they never adequately address the quality control and safety issues.