Winbot 850 is a commercial project I designed for Ecovacs. It has been sold on the market for about 4 years.
In 2014, Ecovacs re-establish its brand image by redesigning Winbot 850, a window-cleaning robot that improves life quality with simple operation.
Market research, Design language, Machine structure innovation, Physical interaction，2D and 3D prototype, CMF, and Manufacturing
According to our research of users, scenario and similar products, we came up with some problems that product need to solve.
More and more people live in high-rise apartments in China. It is hard for them to reach outside of the windows when cleaning. The window cleaning robot usually needs to be placed on the outside of windows, users may use it with only one hand and could not see the operation interface. Thus, it has to be one-hand operated, with a simple launching process fit both for left and right hands.
Reduced Volume and Weight
A lot of customers complained about the noise of previous products, like Winbot 7 of Ecovacs. For a better home environment match, the new product has to reduce the working sound. After discussing with engineers, we decided to use the fan to create the different air pressure between inside and outside of the machine, sticking the machine on the wall. The new structure of the fan not only lowers the noise but also reduces the weight for whole machine.
For the target users, Winbot should be a machine not only working on windows but also for other vertical surfaces in their homes. This means the machine needs more sensors to detect the surface edge. The ball buttons located at four conners pop out when the machine leaves the surface, telling the position of surface edge.
Compared to Winbot 7, Winbot 8 was equipped with collision sensors on both sides, which allow it to moves dual directions. The design improves the cleaning efficiency by avoiding the process of rotating machine direction.
Sketch and Ideas
I sketch different ideas that match the brand language and research results. Besides, I made quick foam and paper mockups to figure out the best size for users. Apart from the operation process, user experience, I also consider the possible structures. Finally, I present my ideas with a precise 2D illustration for better communication with engineers and other colleagues.
3D Modeling and Test
We choose the design with a long handle in the middle because it saves effort and feels most comfortable.
Then we begin to design different appearance matching the brand, choosing the one with balanced aesthetics and price. Since the machine is designed for the middle class, we chose the idea that matches the class.
Testing at users' homes