Smart Home

The best window-cleaning robots for 2020

These bots tackle tall windows so you don't have to

We have robot vacuums, robot mopping machines, robot pool cleaners…it’s no surprise that the world of smart robot window cleaners is also following suit. While these window-cleaning devices are still in early phases and the technology isn’t quite as developed as, say, a Roomba, they can make taking care of large windows easier with an array of smart features, A.I. movement, and unique cleaning technologies.

If you want to get an early start on this new tech, there are plenty of options on the marker you can try. We’ve checked out current models and are ready to recommend some of the best, starting with the friendly Gladwell Gecko—although the follow-up model, the Hobot 298, is also an excellent pick for larger projects.

Note: Current window robots aren’t quite ready for cordless technology just yet, so these models will generally require a corded connection to an outlet. Many bots also have trouble with rounded edges and are generally made to work on glass surfaces that have right angles. There are also usually size requirements for the window to be big enough for them to move around, so windows smaller than around 15 inches can’t really host a cleaner bot — and are easier to clean by hand anyway. Some models may also have glass thickness requirements, but typical residential/commercial windows should be thick enough to handle them.

Gladwell Gecko

A great choice for home use and those who want an affordable but effective window bot, the Gecko is controlled by remote app and includes sensors to map out the window and avoid edges when necessary. The cleaning is a combination of suction and microfiber cloth, not unlike some hardwood floor cleaning bots, but with a safety rope attachment to prevent damage in case of an accidental fall.

There are a couple of different modes you can use based on your cleaning task, and LED indicators with manual controls if you don’t feel like using your app at the moment. We also like the user-friendly, compact design, which is made for both indoor and outdoor use.

Hobot 298

The Hobot 298 is one of the more advanced window cleaners on the market and is designed for reliable work. Smart technologies and laser readers help it detect the edges of the window so it knows to start moving in another direction, while other algorithms monitor the grip and driving force to help prevent falls.

The model is designed to spray an atomized mist of water in front of it via a replaceable water cartridge and wipe it up with a microfiber cloth afterward. If you have time, you can spray some glass cleaner in front instead, but the atomized spray is specifically designed to not leave streaks, which is a nice added benefit. Everything after setup can be controlled via an app for easier work. The power cord is 10 feet long but comes with a 20-foot extension as well for larger windows.

Mamibot W120

The square Mamibot model follows intelligent cleaning routes that are well designed for glass doors, long panes of glass windows, and other surfaces that may be especially common off decks, patios, or business entrances. It can dry clean, wet clean with a solution, or do a quick pass for light cleaning to keep windows looking good. There’s a built-in battery for quick emergency use (and keeping the unit attached if power fails), but this model is designed to be run via cord. There’s both a safety rope and anti-falling sensors. At 65dB, it’s not exactly quiet but it is softer on the ears than many models.

Elfbot

The sleek Elfbot cleans via its own vacuum and microfiber mat (free replacement pads included), and has three different modes to switch between based on the type of cleaning that you need—a cleaning solution is used for wet cleans, but dry modes are also an option. Like other competent models, the Elfbot includes a safety cord and suction features to keep it safely attached. There’s a battery that can help keep suction going during an unexpected power outage, and frame detection plus impact sensors to help guide the unit as it moves. The 16-foot extension cord is particularly long and good for larger windows.

Ecovacs Winbot X

The Winbot X is one of the only window cleaner bots available that is cordless. It also offers a 4-stage cleaning process that includes squeegeeing. The normal features like edge detection and safety tethers are also built into this model. There’s no app control, but there is a remote control to choose settings or control the unit as needed. Unfortunately, the Winbot X doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to bugs and connectivity, which is why we are hesitant to put it too high on our list. With proper performance, it can be a great solution, but we suggest ensuring a return policy when you buy, just in case not all the bugs have been ironed out yet.

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