Festo Building, Germany



The FESTO Automation Centre in Esslingen, Germany does not just make a statement in architecture (xia magazine “Intelligent Architecture” issue 04-06/16). The building owner also points to the future of automation. The entire building envelope is cleaned automatically: by a robot: the GEKKO Facade, SERBOT AG, Switzerland, which sucks on the glass façade. This eliminates important disadvantages of conventional cleaning: no disturbance of the user by cleaning personnel, no risky working in a gondola at high altitude, no additional protection during the cleaning phase, etc.

The 8500 m2 area is cleaned in one day. The system works completely autonomously. An electronically controlled roof trolley supplies the robot with energy and demineralized water and secures the whole system. First, the robot learns to know the building envelope and works then autonomously without human intervention by achieving a consistently high cleaning performance and significantly increases the work safety. With its 400 m2/h of cleaning performance, it also reduces time and costs considerably.  

It is possible to work on a smooth façade using the so-called GEKKO principle. Several suction cups, similar to an inverted cup, are placed on a semicircle in the form of a D  or ist mirror image, can be moved on this semicircle. They can be individually lowered and fixed on a smooth surface. If the cups are tightened on the periphery and then moved along the half-circles, the robot rotates. If they suck on the straight line, the robot moves forward.

The “highflyer” GEKKO Façade gives new impulses for intelligent automation of the cleaning of façades. Together with the energy-optimized façade, engineered by PRIEDEMANN Building Envelop Consultant Berlin, Germany, the solution speaks the language of a future-oriented architecture.

Read here as well the reports (in German): Bericht XIA Zeitschrift, Ausgabe 07-09-2016 and Bericht SFZZ Zuschaltbar Aktiv - Ausgabe 2/2016 



 GEKKO Facade at work    Festo Building, Esslingen-Stuttgart, Deutschland


Video GEKKO Facade