Someone is now marketing something we proposed in In the Shadow of Ares: robotic solar panel cleaners. I received information on these via an email brochure from Sentro Technologies USA (unfortunately information on theses robots is not available on their website). These devices are certainly something my employer, a significant developer and owner of renewable technologies, would consider for our larger solar arrays. Here are two images from the brochure:
The first runs on a rail, much like we envisioned when we had Amber engaged in her chores, cleaning dust off solar panels because the robot wasn’t functioning. I find the second autonomous, mobile unit more interesting. The engineering challenge would be to get it to move from array to array, especially where those arrays have tracking systems and vary in tilt and orientation relative to one another.