We are all aware of smart home automation products that promise to make our lives easier and more convenient. Many of you probably already use some of these devices and are using them on a daily basis.
But one new area of interest is in the field of robot window cleaners. In fact, many people don’t even know these exist. So while some people may find the technology interesting, it’s harder to figure out what exactly makes a good robot window cleaner.
With other robot devices such as floor cleaners or lawnmowers, they are a bit more mainstream and several large brands have emerged as leaders in the field.
The field of robot window cleaners is still relatively small but there are some great options available depending on your budget and needs.
Below, we’ll go over the top robot window cleaners to consider if you’re looking to free yourself from manual window cleaning.
Window Robot Cleaning Basics
For those who are totally new to this area of home automation, there are a few things to know about before proceeding.
The first question many people ask about these robots is how they stay attached to the windows.
That’s actually a good question as these devices seem to defy gravity in pictures and videos you may have seen as they scale vertically up and down a window.
But these devices use two main methods to cling to the glass.
The first is magnetic, but this method is being phased out in popularity. Basically, it works via a two-part system. One part is a magnetic “base” on one side of the glass and the robot cleaner is on the other side.
Magnets essentially squeeze the base and robot together, holding it against the glass as it cleans.
This makes for a less elegant setup than the next method we will discuss, but magnetic cleaners are still good in some situations, such as with very thin windows since the magnets put even force on the glass.
The next method is suction and these are becoming much more popular. With these units, a motor inside powers a fan which creates a suction force strong enough to hold the robot against the glass as it scrubs away.
Small wheels on the underside of the robot propel it along as it does its job. The suction-based units are also easier to set up. You simply turn them on and place them against the glass or surface.
Top Window Cleaning Robots
This is a great all-around choice that is strong in almost every area and it all comes at a reasonable price compared to other similar robots.
The Alfabot has an ultrasonic sprayer which is a nice touch and helps to clean dirtier windows. Some budget robot cleaners only have a microfiber pad on the bottom, but the user has to apply any cleaning solution to the glass first.
The Alfabot X7 also works on other surfaces such as tile and even mirrors or large shower doors. The unit comes with a remote control but you can also download a free app and control the unit from your phone and wifi network if you prefer.
Overall, this suction model has good strength and can tackle those hard-to-reach windows that are just too much of a bother or unsafe to clean manually.
The HOBOT 388 is another suction-based cleaner and it has a very efficient ultrasonic water dispenser that can either use plain water or a special detergent provided by the manufacturer.
Because of the ultrasonic nozzle, it’s best to use the recommended cleaning solution since other cleaners may clog the nozzle. But the nozzles can be easily replaced if this ever happens so those who are more adventurous may try to test a few different cleaning products and see how they work.
Instead of small wheels, the HOBOT uses two counter-rotating brushes which do double duty both cleaning and propelling the unit.
It has a long power cord to keep it running but there is also a battery backup so if power is lost, your robot can still cling to the glass without falling.
We thought the connection between the power cable and the robot could be a little stronger, as it can pull out inadvertently. But if this does happen, the battery backup kicks in and you also get an audible alert.
Overall, this is a great unit and one that can handle most window cleaning duties with ease.
Another Hobot model is on the list and this is the 2S model. This model shares the same ultrasonic sprayer as other HOBOT models, which we really like.
The 2S also boasts a lot of features like edge detection as well as edge-leakage detection. So if water is leaking out past the robot or past a window’s edge, it can detect that and adjust accordingly so it doesn’t make a mess.
The 2S has a strong suction but it’s rated for windows of any thickness. So even older windows and thinner surfaces can still be cleaned safely with this unit.
One downside is that you have to use their detergent, but the sprayer is rather efficient so the included detergent does go a long way.
The Mamibot W120-T is probably the best deal in the window robot window cleaner market. It does lack a few of the very high-end features found on more expensive cleaners, but it still boasts a lot for the money.
The robot features a nice battery backup system should the power cord be dislodged. It also has a standard companion app to fully control the robot remotely, which is a nice touch at this price.
The Mamibot does lack some of the more advanced sensors for edge detection. So this may be a problem with some borderless windows where the bot can inch over the edge and lose suction, causing it to fall.
But for most applications, it punches way above its weight class and is one of the overall better values in the field of robot window cleaners.
When you need a large cleaner for those large windows, the HOBOT 298 may be exactly what you’re looking for.
It has one of the largest cleaning areas for a consumer-level window robot. This is perfect for larger windows, however, it can get cramped by smaller windows and needs at least 16 x 16 inches to operate fully.
So if you have a mix of big windows and small windows, this may not work. It’s best for larger windows only.
Other than that, it has all the advanced features of the other HOBOT cleaners including an ultrasonic sprayer, full sensor suite, and powerful suction with a battery backup for safety.
This large unit can also make quick work of other surfaces including large marble installations or tiled walls.
If you need a robot cleaner for larger jobs that has all the advanced features, check out the 298 by HOBOT.
Final Tips For Robot Window Cleaners
Overall, these robots have the potential to save you from a lot of extra work. But in some cases, they may not be a good fit.
You have to manually move the robot from window to window if the windows are not connected. This may end up being more work than just cleaning by hand. So these robots are best for large, continuous windows.
Also, make sure to always use the included tether which prevents them from falling. Although these models all have a battery backup, if there is any type of loss of suction, they can fall to the ground.
This can damage the unit but it can also be a safety hazard if there are people or pets beneath the robot.
Other than those caveats, these robot cleaners can be a real time-saver and this list should help you decide which unit is best for you.