Recently, several companies have started to launch and sell window cleaning robots.
One of the most popular, HOBOT, now was four different window cleaning robots available, the 188, 198, 268, and 288.
This week, we are going to take a look at each of them and discover how they compare to each other.
It’s time for the battle to begin. Lookout, dirty windows, HOBOT is coming for you!
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|Backup Battery Life||20 mins||20 mins||20 mins||20 mins|
|Power||80 AW||80 AW||72 AW||72 AW|
|Power Source||20' (6 meters) cord||20' (6 meters) cord||13' (3 meters) cord||13' (3 meters) cord|
|Weight||2 lbs||2 lbs||2 lbs||2 lbs|
|Noise||65.5 dB||65.5 dB||65 dB||65 dB|
|Maintenance||$8 / year||$8 / year||$22 / year||$22 / year|
The design of these four window cleaners are quite similar, but each of them does have their own nuances.
CLEANING PADS | As mentioned above, the HOBOT 188 and 198 contain circular cleaning pads. This allows the robot’s wheels to turn and move the HOBOT in a zig-zag pattern. By doing so, the wheels / cleaning pads do not leave any traces of dirt or debris behind after cleaning it up.
On the other hand, the HOBOT 268 and 288 use square cleaning pads. These units are already larger than the 188 and 198, so they naturally cover more window space. Perhaps the biggest difference is their ability to more easily clean corners more completely.
AESTHETICS | The older models of each branch from HOBOT are white. For example, the HOBOT 188 and HOBOT 168 were the original models for the circular and square designs, respectively. After HOBOT released the 198 and 288, the color scheme for each transitioned to black, with color pop accents as well.
HOBOT Motor Performance
The motors all perform on a similar level.
Both the HOBOT 188 and 198 have a power consumption level of 80W and the HOBOT 268 and 288 have a power consumption level of 72W.
Cleaning speeds also vary with each of the HOBOT window cleaning robots:
How HOBOT Cleans
Each of the four HOBOT window cleaning robots clean in a similar manner.
VACUUM SUCTION | The HOBOT 188, 198, 268, and 288 all use vacuum style suction to hold themselves on the window. Once you turn the robot on, you can feel the pump begin to work, allowing users to place the HOBOT on the window and stick to it.
WINDOW SCRUBBING | As each of these units begins to clean, the cleaning pads will work to scrub the windows, helping to lift off any dirt, debris, or stains that may be on the window.
RELATED | Check out our ultimate guide on the best smart home devices. We’ve got lots of ideas, tips, and great products to help you assemble your own smart home.
How big are the HOBOT window cleaning robots?
As we take a look at the size of these window cleaning robots, we have similarity and difference between some of the models.
The size difference of these robots is not much, but the overall shape is where we begin to see the differences.
Hobot 188 Size
Hobot 198 Size
Hobot 268 Size
Hobot 288 Size
What accessories come with the HOBOT window robots?
HOBOT does not short users when it comes to including extra parts and accessories with their window cleaning robots.
Each of the four robots we’re reviewing include the same accessories, but there may be a different number or style of each accessory included.
For example, the cleaning pads on the 188 and 198 are different from the 268 and 288, but each of these HOBOTs does include extra cleaning pads.
|Accessory||Hobot 188||Hobot 198||Hobot 268||Hobot 288|
Cleaning Pads – Multiple cleaning pads are included with each of the HOBOT models. The 188 and 198 include 14 circular microfiber cleaning pads whereas the 268 and 288 include 7 square microfiber cleaning pads.
Charger – The charger performs as expected, working to charge up the backup battery for the HOBOT. This is more of a precautionary measure for situations where the power source to the robot comes unplugged. The HOBOT will not fall from the window immediately, as the backup power supply will allow the robot to continue working. This same charger is also always plugged in during use.
Remote – A remote is also included with all Hobot window cleaning robots. The remote allows the user to control the Hobot from a distance, in addition to setting a specific cleaning pattern.
Cleaning Rings – The Hobot 188 and 198 both include spare cleaning rings that can be attached to the robot if another is broken or misplaced. The Hobot 268 and 288 do not include cleaning rings, as they are unnecessary for those specific models.
Our cleaning tests are designed to showcase the performance of each window cleaning robot.
Our window cleaning tests consist of cleaning an indoor and outdoor window with both dry cleaning pads and cleaning pads that have a window cleaning solution applied to them.
How well do the HOBOT window cleaning robots clean?
For starters, the HOBOT 198 performed quite well throughout our cleaning tests. All 4 of the HOBOT window washing robots can clean on rough glass, smooth glass, mosaic glass, and tile. Additionally, they are even able to clean on other surface types including tables, walls, and the ground.
When testing this robot, we allowed it to run on an exterior facing window on my home, which contained a notable layer of dirt and dust. From there, we moved the HOBOT 198 inside and gave it the opportunity to clean a window on the inside of a home that contained streaks and hand prints from humans and dogs.
EXTERIOR WINDOW | After running the outdoor window test with dry cleaning pads, we found that the HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot was able to lift the thin layer of dust and dirt from the window. Yet, it was not able to fully remove some of the other stuck on debris.
Once we added a window cleaning solution to the cleaning pads of the HOBOT 198 robot, we set it loose on the window again. This time, we were able to see the robot clean more of the stuck on stains and debris.
The outdoor window test was a success with both dry cleaning pads and cleaning pads with a window cleaning solution added to them.
INTERIOR WINDOW | Next up, the indoor window cleaning test. This test is similar to the outdoor test, but there were a lot more streaks / hand prints and a lot less dust residing on the window.
Initially, the HOBOT 198 made its dry passes across the window and did an okay job. Yet, after applying the window cleaning solution to the cleaning pads (the same solution used for outdoor window), we found that the HOBOT was able to virtually remove all of the streaks and handprints from the window.
Unfortunately, we have not had the opportunity to test all four of these HOBOT window cleaning robots. That said, considering the similarities of the other HOBOT robots, we would expect to see a substantially similar performance on the HOBOT 188.
In terms of usability, there are only a few differences. For the most part, each of these HOBOT window cleaning robots has a similar process when it comes to using them.
UNBOXING | When it comes to unboxing each of these robots, you will have to unpack each piece from their individual plastic wrapping. That said, each of these robots comes fully assembled right out of the box. There is no assembly process required by the user.
DAILY USE | Using these robots on a daily basis is not difficult. Each of them does need to be fully charged before being applied to a window, but that is really the only waiting game required with these units.
Once the HOBOT is charged, it can be plugged in, turned on, and applied to a window for a cleaning session. After the HOBOT has been turned on and applied to the window, users can use the remote or smartphone app to control the movement of the unit.
From there, the only remaining steps are to change the robot from window to window and change the cleaning pads as necessary.
REMOTE OR APP CONTROL | Controlling the HOBOT window cleaning robots is another simple step. All four of these units include a remote, which gives users the option of controlling the exact movement that the HOBOT makes, or it each of them can be placed into a specific cleaning mode.
The smartphone app is virtually identical to the remote control. The major difference, it is on your phone which means you do not have to keep up with the remote control.
Bear in mind, then HOBOT 188 and 268 do not have Bluetooth and therefore cannot be controlled by the smartphone app. The HOBOT 198 and 288 do have Bluetooth, which means the app will work with these robots.
CHANGING THE CLEANING PADS | Changing the cleaning pads is not a strenuous activity either. On the HOBOT 188 and 198, the cleaning ring, which attaches to the base of the HOBOT, pops off. Once this is off you can remove the cleaning pad and replace it with a fresh one.
With regard to the HOBOT 268 and 288, the cleaning pad is held on by velcro. All you will need to do to change these pads is pull them away from the bottom of the robot and stick a fresh one on.
OTHER SURFACES | The HOBOT is of course designed for window cleaning, however, the manufacturer states that it can be used on other surfaces as well, including walls, floors, and tables. However, we weren’t able to find specific information on the ideal types of walls, floors, and tables.
That said, we would guess that you’d want them to be sealed for their protection.
You may also want to check out our best robot vacuums and best robot mop primers for additional information on automatic cleaning. We were particularly impressed with the Roomba 980 (for robot vacuums) and Braava 380t (for robot mops).
HOBOT Window Robot Maneuverability
When it comes to the maneuverability of these HOBOT window cleaning robots, there is not a lot of variation. Per usual, the HOBOT 188 and 198 have identical maneuverability as do the 268 and 288.
The breakdown of how these HOBOT robots maneuver is based on their overall design. The 188 and 198 have two wheels that rotate in opposite directions of one another, creating the zig-zag pattern of movement.
HOBOT Robot Maintenance
When it comes to robots, maintenance can often be a little spendy. Most robot vacuums cost $30-$40 / year to maintain, like the Roomba 690 and Ecovacs N79, however, some like the Neato D3 cost as much as $174 / year.
That said, the HOBOT window cleaning robots do not require a lot of maintenance, which helps reduce the costs dramatically.
MAINTENANCE PARTS | The maintenance task we have found to be most important with these robots is the changing of their cleaning pads. There is a backup battery that could need replacing eventually, but this doesn’t seem like it will be an issue right off of the bat. The HOBOT is always plugged in, therefore the battery is only being used if the power source fails or gets unplugged while the HOBOT is cleaning.
Overall, the maintenance for the HOBOT 188 and 198 should only cost around $8 a year. This includes a 3 pack of cleaning pads and each pack should last around a year, based off of our previous experience with similar cleaning cloths.
~$8 / year
~$8 / year
~$22 / year
~$22 / year
Overall, maintaining these window cleaning robots is a breeze. Just replace the cleaning pads whenever necessary and you’re good to go!
What’s the Best Bang for the Buck?
How do we determine the value of these HOBOT window washing robots? We take a look at the cleaning performance, price, maneuverability, and features each robot has to offer.
Although these robots are not vastly different from one another, we would classify them by category as follows:
BEST OVERALL VALUE | The HOBOT 188 is the least expensive of all of HOBOT’s window cleaning robot line. However, it still offers much of the same cleaning performance as the more expensive models. You miss out on a few extras, like smartphone control, but you still have all of the basics you’d want.
BEST VALUE BY PERFORMANCE | The HOBOT 198 is a slight step up from the 188. Again, it has all the same basic features, but you also do get smartphone control. Additionally, the 198 also has HOBOT’s more advanced cleaning AI (the 2.1 version).
BEST VALUE FOR LARGER WINDOWS | The HOBOT 268 is the more premium series of window washing robots. The 268 has the more advanced cleaning software, what HOBOT calls their AI Technology S1.0. Additionally, it’s also got several improvements over the 198 and 188.
- Notably larger size allows it to clean more efficiently
- Faster, cleaning 1 meter every 2.4 minutes (vs. the 188 and 198, which clean 1 meter every 4 minutes).
- Uses less power
- Can recognize frameless windows and when to stop (188 and 198 cannot do this)
MOST ADVANCED ROBOT | The HOBOT 288 is HOBOT’S more advanced window cleaning robot. It does everything the HOBOT 268 does, but also offers the more advanced AI technology with version S2.0.
Additionally, it can be controlled via a smartphone. You pay more, but you also get all of the bells and whistles.
HOBOT 188 vs. 198 vs. 268 vs. 288 Specifications
|Specs||Hobot 188||Hobot 198||Hobot 268||Hobot 288|
|Length||12" x 6" x 5" (295x148x120mm)||12" x 6" x 5" (295x148x120mm)||10" x 10" x 4" (240x240x100mm)||10" x 10" x 4" (240x240x100mm)|
|Weight||2 lbs. (930g)||2 lbs. (930g)||2.6 lbs. (1,200g)||2.6 lbs. (1,200g)|
|Cleaning Style||Rotating / zig-zag||Rotating / zig-zag||Lines||Lines|
|Speed||4 mins. / meter||4 mins. / meter||2.4 mins. / meter||2.4 mins. / meter|
|Window Type||Indoor & outdoor||Indoor & outdoor||Indoor & outdoor||Indoor & outdoor|
|Cordless||No - 20 ft. (6 meters)||No - 20 ft. (6 meters)||No - 13 ft. (3 meters)||No - 13 ft. (3 meters)|
|Noise||65.5 dB||65.5 dB||64 dB||64 dB|
|Backup Battery||Yes; 20 mins.||Yes; 20 mins.||Yes; 20 mins.||Yes; 20 mins.|
|Returns||30 days via Amazon.com||30 days via Amazon.com||30 days via Amazon.com||30 days via Amazon.com|
|Warranty||2 Year limited||2 Year limited||2 Year limited||2 Year limited|
|Buy||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Should You Buy the HOBOT 188 or 198 or 268 or 288?
The big question has finally come up…which HOBOT should you buy? Below is a quick breakdown of why we think each model could be right for different people.
I would recommend the HOBOT 188 to people who:
- Want the best price – If you’re looking for the lowest cost HOBOT window cleaning robot, the 188 is going to claim that prize.
- Want the original HOBOT – Additionally, this is the first window cleaning robot HOBOT released. Therefore, if you would like to try their original model then this could be a good fit for you.
I would recommend the HOBOT 198 to people who:
- Want a Bluetooth enabled unit with solid cleaning – The HOBOT 198 has the ability to connect to a smartphone app, via Bluetooth. This allows users to control the robot with their phone instead of with the remote. This HOBOT also did a great job of cleaning throughout our tests.
I would recommend the HOBOT 268 to people who:
- Want a larger model – If you want a larger window cleaning robot, the HOBOT 268 could be a good option. The cleaning performance is still strong.
- Want a faster cleaning model – the larger size and upgraded AI also mean the 268 is notably faster over the 188 and 198.
I would recommend the HOBOT 288 to people who:
- Want the newest HOBOT – The HOBOT 288 is the newest HOBOT window cleaning robot. It has all the bells and whistles, a larger size, faster cleaning, and the most advanced cleaning AI. If you want the best you can get, get the HOBOT 288.
Window Robots are Here!
- Cleaning - 94%94%
- Usability - 95%95%
- Maneuverability - 92%92%
- Maintenance - 95%95%
- Value - 90%90%
The HOBOT family of robot window washers are an excellent way to easily keep both your interior and exterior windows looking great. Even in the more basic models, the AI is sufficient to clean most windows, working on a variety of surfaces, including glass (smooth, rough, mosaic), and tile.
Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, son, and poodle, Tibbers.