In the media
Utrecht station uses a window cleaning robot to keep their glass canopy clean
The roof above the stairs to Utrecht Central Station’s new platforms is special: it cannot be cleaned the traditional way. Instead, a cleaning robot traverses the glass roof every month.
6 Juni 2019
The window cleaning robot in Utrecht has been getting a lot of attention!
The newly developed robot cleans the glass roof of Utrecht’s central station. It does so in a safer and more efficient manner than traditional methods without bothering the travelers. Among others, the following news media have been talking about the robot:
Cleaning tall facades with a car wash brush
The idea originated during his studies in New York, when he saw mountaineers cleaning the windows of skyscrapers. There must be a better and safer way, thought Stefan Spanjer (30). He developed a robot that is able to clean entire facades.
8 Januari 2019
Window cleaning robot working at Utrecht Central Station
From this moment forward, the canopy covering the route to the tram platform of Utrecht Central Station is being cleaned by a robot. Utrecht station is the largest combined bus, tram and train station in the Netherlands. More than 170,000 passengers travel to and from Utrecht every day. Robotic technology makes sure that cleaning the exterior is done safely, efficiently and without any nuisance to the commuters.
A lot of work went into it. Director of KITE Robotics, Stefan Spanjer, is happy with the results in Utrecht. “We developed the robot according to the specific wishes and demands of the client and came to a terrific result. We thank the City of Utrecht and Nederlandse Spoorwegen for their confidence. The city sets an example by thinking about efficient and effective cleaning of a complex construction at an early stage in development. The robot cleans buildings under safe conditions, improving everyone’s living and working conditions and saving costs at the same time.”
Utrecht Central Station is the heart of public transport in the Netherlands and acts as the entry hub for the entire city. Commuters transfer to buses, bikes, trams and trains and vice versa. The city thinks it is important for Utrecht to be hospitable and safely accessible. Alexander Schütte of the city explains: “The commuter is central to our philosophy. With this solution they are not hindered by hydraulic platforms or scaffolding and can travel comfortable from point A to point B. We did not just realize a quality connection from the station hall to the tram platform, but can keep it clean as well. We are very pleased with the automatic cleaning robot which provides an excellent solution within the complex environment of the station.”
28 February 2019
Knowledge & cash? When university researchers start a business
Years ago, KITE Robotics started as a spin-off at the University of Twente. Going from a scientific principal to a marketable product or service is a complicated procedure. Regardless, there are still over a hundred new spin-offs starting in the Netherlands every year. A Dutch newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’ wrote an insightful article, going into how these companies are started and the process they go through to grow! Read about it on their website, here (Article in Dutch).
1 February 2019
Van Wijnen Innovation Award won by KITE Robotics
Van Wijnen Breda has organized an innovation competition and KITE Robotics emerged victorious. From a pre-selection of 40 start-ups, KITE Robotics was voted to the top 5 to give a presentation to Van Wijnen and their contacts. The audience consisted of 90 attendees and chose KITE Robotics as the most innovative company.
Van Wijnen has innovation high on the agenda. The branch manager of Van Wijnen Breda, Peter Riemers explains this mindset. “As a groundbreaking and evolving construction company we are open to ‘first movers’. Present-day times demand a lot of innovation from organizations. To strengthen their power of innovation and to respond to new expectations of our customers, we are glad to work together with promising and ambitious start-ups such as KITE Robotics.”
As reward for winning the Innovation Award, Van Wijnen promises a close co-operation with KITE Robotics. Director of KITE Robotics Stefan Spanjer is delighted with the recognition. “We think it’s wonderful that Van Wijnen has organized this competition and that the audience has given KITE Robotics its recognition. We thank everyone that was involved!”
About Van Wijnen
Back in 1907, Van Wijnen begun with carpentry, after which it quickly grew into a construction company. Nowadays, it is even more than that! Van Wijnen is committed to help individual people and society as a whole to buildings which improve the quality of living, working and learning. Van Wijnen is involved in development, construction, management and maintenance.
11 October 2018
University of Applied Sciences Saxion made a video about their alumnus and our employee Koen!
Before coming to KITE Robotics, Koen has studied Mechanical Engineering at Saxion. In this video he tells about the things he has learned and how he is able to apply these at KITE Robotics. He also has some advice for others wishing to enter the field of Mechanical Engineering!
Recently a contract was signed by the city of Utrecht for the window cleaning robot of KITE Robotics, a start-up at the University of Twente. The robot is going to clean the glass canopy above the stairs to the new tramline at Utrecht Central Station. Early on in the development of this project the city has given thought to maintenance, choosing for the automatic KITE robot. Its simple and autonomous functionality gives relief during the building’s exploitation.
Alexander Schütte, City of Utrecht: “Sustainability, efficiency and safety are important to consider when making a suitable decision for the system. The difficult accessibility of the canopy and the cost-savings that the KITE robot has to offer in the exploitation phase were decisive in our choice. It will also allow us to increase the cleaning frequency, creating a cleaner environment for the travellers.”
Stefan Spanjer, director of KITE Robotics: “The idea for the KITE window cleaning robot originated when I was studying mechatronics at the University of Twente. Even then I was convinced that robotics would be the future for smart buildings. We are thrilled that the city of Utrecht chose for our robot. It has the benefit of safer conditions and cleaner buildings, improving the work and living conditions for everyone involved.”
Winner at the PROVADA Start-up battle!
Dozens of Start-ups competed in the PROVADA Start-up battle to be named ‘the most promising PropTech company of 2018’ and win a wildcard for PROVADA FUTURE 2018. KITE Robotics together with nine other companies has been nominated for the PROVADA PROPTECH AWARD 2018 and will be attending PROVADA FUTURE 2018 at RAI Amsterdam on June 5-7. We will see you there!
20 March 2018
KITE Robotics at the 2017 NRC Live media event about robotization
The next NRC Live media event about robotization is being held today! It touches upon the subject of robotics and its impact on the economy, society and labor market. Leading professionals speak about the effects of robotization, machine learning and embedded AI. Stefan Spanjer of KITE Robotics will also speak at this event!
12 October 2017
KITE Robotics has been mentioned in articles on Service Management and Facto!
Both the professional cleaning platform Service Management and professional facility magazine Facto have reported on the use of robotic technology for window cleaning, and specifically the possibilities of our KITE Robot!