Have no fear, the window cleaning wizard is here–Revolutionary HOBOT 298 automatically cleans your window for you
Cleaning windows is definitely one of the trickiest chores when cleaning the house, particularly for high-rise buildings, because even if you have long cleaning tools, you still have to stretch your hands and head outside the window. For hardtoreach places, your acrobatic skills will be put to the test, and if you accidentally lose grip, the cleaning tools will become a deadly hazard to passersby down below.
In 2011, HOBOT Technology Inc. General Manager Chih-mou Chao decided to develop the HOBOT window cleaning robot when he was frustrated with cleaning his windows at home. The product became an instant hit on the market and continued to evolve to the latest HOBOT-298 auto-ultrasonic spray window cleaning robot. The product combines features such as automatic suction to the window, efficient window cleaning algorithm, and automatic water spray function to keep your windows squeaky clean everyday.
Unboxing the new generation of window cleaning robot -HOBOT 298
The HOBOT window cleaning robot series has evolved through several generations, from the earliest permanent magnet design (limited performance in terms of the thickness of glass and surface material applicable) to the vacuum suction design that accommodates glass with any thickness; from the circular cleaning pattern to the more efficient linear cleaning pattern capable of cleaning the edges effortlessly. The brand new HOBOT 298 is so intelligent that it can spray water mist measuring merely 15μm, giving the window cleaning robot powerful cleaning capability.
Besides the 24cm x 24cm HOBOT 298 unit, other accessories in the box include a 4.5m safety rope to prevent the unit from accidentally falling off while it is being removed from the window. Powerful suction ensures that the unit is securely attached to the window while cleaning, but the safety rope is still necessary to protect the safety of the product and that of the passersby. In the box, one can also find a 3-section power cord measuring 5M long to maximize the cleaning area. The product comes with 3 complimentary mopping cloths, a bottle of detergent, and a remote control.
The raised portion of the unit is the vacuum suction device, and there are 2 vents fore and aft, with anti-slip design on either side of the raised portion for attaching the unit onto glass or removing it.
There is a start and pause button above the round logo. The unit can be activated by pressing this button when the power is turned on.
The power switch and plug are located on the bottom right area of the unit. For the sake of safety, the plug has a fail-safe design to prevent it from dislodging during operation, therefore relatively more force must be applied to remove the plug. The vacuum device starts immediately when the power is turned on, so the user can attach it to the glass and press start to begin cleaning. After the cleaning operation is completed, make sure to grasp the unit firmly before turning off the power to release the pressure, otherwise, it will lose suction, fall off the glass, and become a dangerous freefalling object.
Make sure to attach the carabiner at the end of the safety rope to a sturdy, fixed object.
There is a battery status indicator and buzzer on the top left corner of the unit. Why the need for batteries if the unit is plugged into power you may wonder? As a matter of fact, it is a safety feature designed to prevent the unit from falling off during a blackout or when the power cord is accidentally unplugged. The built-in battery can keep the unit stuck to the glass for approximately 20 minutes, while the buzzer will sound a warning to attract the user’s attention so that you can pull the unit back inside using the safety rope or plug it in to continue cleaning the windows. The display will indicate whether the battery is charging or fully charged; a red light will be illuminated in the event of a malfunction.
The biggest difference between HOBOT 298 and its predecessor HOBOT 288 is in the water tank and nozzle. Although the water tank only holds 40ml of fluid, the ultrasonic spray nozzle uses water in a very efficient manner, allowing it to clean 40m2 of glass with one tankful of water. The total surface area of glass at home is unlikely to exceed 8m2, making it more than sufficient to clean every window in the house. It is recommended to use original factory detergent or distilled water to prevent clogging the spray nozzle. If the nozzle becomes clogged, the user can replace the old water tank with a new one to extend the lifespan of the window cleaning robot.
The unit is covered in Velcro for affixing window mopping cloths, and the holes in the middle are the vacuum suction device used to keep the unit firmly attached to the glass.
The wide rubber caterpillar tracks provide powerful traction to drive the unit to and fro on the slick glass. In high humidity (more than 80%) conditions or during the rainy season, condensation on the glass makes it extremely slippery, therefore it is advised to let the window cleaning robot take a break and wait for sunny weather!
Laser sensors on 2 lower corners detect the edge of the frameless glass to prevent the unit from falling off due to a loss of suction.
Once the mopping cloth is attached to the unit, it is ready to clean your windows! There are 3 mopping cloths in the package, so you can remove dirty cloth at any time and replace it with a fresh one. The cloths can be water-washed or even machine washed. All 3 cloths can be cleaned at once after the windows are cleaned to ensure maximum convenience. As a reminder, for homes located in windy and dusty environments, it is recommended to turn off the water spray function for the first window cleaning operation, because minute dust particles accumulated on the windows can attach to the wet cloth and scratch the surface of the glass. It is advised to activate the water spray function for the second window cleaning operation to produce the best results.
By the way, in addition to 3 automatic cleaning programs, the remote control can also be used to control the unit’s direction and water spray function, etc. Apart from remote control functions, the mobile app’s most convenient feature is the reminder chime at the end of the cleaning program, and alerts will also be relayed to your cell phone in the event of a malfunction.
Let’s clean my windows at home!
Just like most people, I am reluctant to clean my windows at home unless it is time for the annual clean-up, because cleaning them is such a hassle, and my windows end up as filthy as they can be. From the photo, it is clear to see that dirt and grime caused by the elements are stuck to the glass, and the only way to clean them is by reaching out of the semi-open windows using long cleaning tools, talk about hard work!
Such dirty windows are the ideal surface to test the product’s performance. I started with the indoor windows, and after 2 cleaning cycles by HOBOT 298, although I could not feel any dirt on the glass with my fingers, they still look utterly disgusting. This is because the outdoor windows are still dirty and have yet to be cleaned. However, the robot was struggling to maintain a grip on the glass due to the high humidity, so I decided to give it a rest and resumed cleaning the next day.
The sun was out the following morning, so I let the robot clean the outdoor windows during breakfast time. As I enjoyed my breakfast, I also observed the robot in action. Since the outdoor window was simply too filthy, it took the robot almost 10 cleaning cycles to clean most of the window (actually I instructed the robot to continue cleaning because I was still eating breakfast). Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the majority of the window was spotless, except for some stubborn water stains and a small patch of glass in the corner, which remained slightly dirty.
Eventually, I decided to remove water stains by using cleaning tools and detergent before allowing the robot to clean the windows 2 more times, and my windows were finally cleaned. Although tough water stains may not be cleaned instantly, if you thoroughly clean the windows using the robot in conjunction with other cleaning tools first, and let the robot clean your windows twice a month, they will remain spotless every day and you no longer have to worry about tough stains in the future.
Is there any place that HOBOT 298 can’t clean?
Just to be clear, the machine has its limits, and of course, there will be areas or places that it cannot reach, but at least it will have finished 90% of the job for us, which is way better than being lazy and not cleaning at all. Next, we shall conduct an experiment to determine the hard-to-reach areas.
FirstI doodled on the framed glass with whiteboard markers, particularly the edges to see if HOBOT can clean the corners properly.
I especially drew a line near the frame to test the robot’s cleaning ability.
After 3 cleaning cycles, the center regions was left immaculate, and it even took care of the lines near the edges. The only areas that were not cleaned thoroughly were the 4 corners. However, the robot has already cleaned most of the glass for me by demonstrating its outstanding cleaning performance. As mentioned earlier, the unit features corners sensors for preventing it from falling off frameless windows, and the sensors became the culprit for leaving these dirty corners. I guess the problem will have to be rectified by the manufacturer in subsequent versions.
Here is the video of the cleaning test:
Whether it’s robot vacuums or window cleaning robots, they are designed to endow us with more free time in our busy lifestyle, so that we can leisurely enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book or magazine, or pick up the dust-laden guitar to sing a couple of tunes – these are wonderful moments we can enjoy. Although robots are not omnipotent, they can still help us complete difficult tasks such as cleaning the window or floor on a daily basis; apart from being such a schlep, cleaning outdoor windows can get downrightdangerous. Back to HOBOT 298, after using it for several days, I discovered some of the tougher stains that could not be removed initially were completely cleaned. As far as I am concerned, there is absolutely no way that I can have the time and energy to clean the stains every day, hence I will leave this task to HOBOT. Additionally, I realized that besides window glass, HOBOT can also be used to clean smooth outdoor wall tiles. Anyways, just tryout HOBOT on different surfaces!