Cleaning the windows, what a chore. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone, or something, else do that for you? That’s the thinking behind the WINBOT W830, part of a line of windows-cleaning robots from Ecovacs Robotics, a 10 year old company that also makes floor-cleaning and air-cleaning robots. The WINBOT attaches to the glass by suction and moves up, down, and all around both on its own and is controlled by a remote. When used for the outdoors side of windows, there’s a “safety pod” that attaches separately to the inside of the window, tethered to the robot’s power cord, to prevent it from dropping to the ground, no matter how high up your window is. Did you notice I said “power cord?” That’s because, unlike many floor cleaning robots that run on rechargeable battery power, the WINBOT has to be plugged into regular power at all times (there is a rechargeable battery, for “backup”).
So each time you use the WINBOT, you have to attach and plug in the power, and of course unplug and detach it. There is also a removable cleaning pad to wash and dry and you have to wipe down the fan and sensors after each use. The robot cleans in either an “N” pattern – up, down, and across – or a “Z” pattern – side-to-side – or you can direct it with the remote to go forward, backward, left and right. You must use their cleaning fluid, at $20 a bottle.
This video from Ecovacs Robotics shows the WINBOT W830 with all its parts and the steps necessary to start cleaning with it, and clean it up afterwards.
Now, unless you live in a glass house or are on the 30th floor of a high-rise building that doesn’t have an outside window cleaning service, you’ll probably find, as I did, that it is no less work – and maybe a little more work – to have a robot clean your ordinary windows. The robot really isn’t much help on small windows and especially those with muntins. And even on larger panes of glass, say in a sliding patio door, the WINBOT doesn’t clean quite all the way to the edges, and can leave some smears, meaning you have to finish the job yourself if you want every inch of glass scrubbed clear.
The WINBOT W830 one of a line of glass-cleaning devices from Ecovacs Robotics, each with slightly different features, but they work about the same way. It’s currently $350 from Amazon.com.