Ever wondered what it would be like to have a robot clean your windows?
Well, now you can stop wondering and say hello to the HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot.
Window cleaning robots are an added luxury to any home, but is the HOBOT worth giving a shot?
Continue reading below to discover if the HOBOT 198 is the right window cleaner for you.
- Design 94%
- Performance 93%
- Quality 95%
- Usability 95%
- Value 89%
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- This Hobot window cleaner has a strong cleaning performance
- WiFi connectivity; users can connect their smartphone to the robot and control it via the app.
- The Hobot 198 takes quite a while to clean a single window.
- This robot window cleaner is a bit on the pricey side.
The Bottom Line
The Hobot 198 is a window cleaning robot that is designed to give users a break from cleaning windows by hand. The overall performance of this robot window cleaner is solid. It does a great job of removing dust, dirt, debris, and streaks. It struggled a little with super stuck on messes, but still met all my expectations for what a window cleaning robot should do.
The HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot offers a design unlike anything we have tested to date. As a window cleaning robot, the unit is designed to travel up and down a window, cleaning it in a zigzag path.
DESIGN | The overall design is quite unique. The top of the unit has two hanging holes, which allow the safety string to be attached so that the unit is held up if it falls off of a window, power / cleaning mode lights, a vent, the power switch, and a DC power jack.
Once you flip the HOBOT 198 over, the bottom houses the two cleaning rings and cloths as well as three small power / cleaning mode lights.
CLEANING PADS | The cleaning pads wrap completely around the ring, that attached to the bottom of the robot. These cleaning pads are microfiber and can be washed and reused several times.
AESTHETIC | With regard to aesthetic, the HOBOT 198 is small but sleek. I have not seen anything quite like this robot window cleaner. An all-black color scheme makes up the majority of the body, while two yellow cleaning pads add a nice color pop to the bottom of the unit.
How HOBOT Cleans
The HOBOT 198 cleans in a few different ways. The idea of the cleaning is the same, regardless of the mode, but the way it goes about completing a cleaning cycle can vary.
- The HOBOT works in a zigzag pattern, covering the entire window before shutting down
- Cleaning pads on the bottom of the unit crank both clockwise and counterclockwise to ensure a good wipe across the area it is cleaning
As the HOBOT cleans the window, users have the option of dry cleaning or applying a cleaning solution to the cleaning pads for a deeper clean.
DRY CLEANING | Dry cleaning is used when the window has a large amount of dust or dirt caked onto the window. This is typically the initial clean for most windows. The HOBOT will cover the entire window with the dry cleaning pad, lifting the dust and dirt off of the window so a cleaning solution can be applied to the pads.
SOLUTION CLEANING | Cleaning with a solution simply means spraying some sort of window cleaner (we used regular Windex for our tests) on the perimeter of the cleaning pads and placing the HOBOT back on the window. The robot will clean in the same manner as when the pads were dry, but now with a deeper clean.
RELATED | HOBOT offers 4 different window cleaning robot models. Wonder how they compare? See our HOBOT 188 vs. 198 vs. 268 vs. 288 comparisons here.
How big is the HOBOT window cleaning robot?
The HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot is a smaller robot, coming in at 12″ of total length, 6″ in width, and 5″ in height. Additionally, this robot weighs 2 pounds.
- Length – 12″
- Width – 6″
- Height – 5″
- Weight – 2 pounds
The HOBOT 198 came with a nice amount of extra parts and accessories.
The following accessories were included with the HOBOT 198:
Cleaning Pad: 12 extra cleaning pads are included with the Hobot 198, which gives us a grand total of 14 (two are already on the unit). These cleaning pads can be removed, washed, and reused.
Cleaning Ring: The cleaning rings hold the cleaning pads in place on the window cleaning robot. Two extra rings are included with this Hobot. These are nice insurance in case your other rings break, get lost, or just wear out. Alternatively, if you’re washing lots of windows you can have a backup set of rings and cleaning pads ready to swap out when your initial cleaning cloths get dirty.
Charger / Power Supply: A charger / power supply cord is also included with the Hobot 198. The cord is used to both charge the unit if the backup battery is needed, in addition to powering the unit while it is cleaning.
Remote: A small remote can be used to control the unit.
As the newest model in the Hobot line, the 198 includes a nice array of parts and accessories. That said, as you increase in models, the accessories take another step up. The Hobot 268 and 288 both include larger cleaning pads, due to the size of the window cleaning pad surface.
Users do have the option of purchasing more cleaning pads if needed, but Hobot included a significant number of them from the get-go.
The following test is designed to show how well the HOBOT 198 can clean windows.
First, we tested the HOBOT 198 with dry cleaning pads to see how much dust and dirt could be removed from the windows (without cleaner solution).
Next, we applied a cleaning solution to the cleaning pads of the HOBOT 198 and noted the difference between the dry and damp cleaning pad performance.
Cleaning tests on the HOBOT 198 were pretty straightforward. We chose a couple of windows on the inside and outside of my home, and let the HOBOT give it its best shot.
WINDOW LOCATION | For reference, I live in Phoenix, Arizona. The window we focused on is east facing on the rear of my home. Due to the climate and geography here in Phoenix, most windows have a notable layer of dust on them most of the year.
The window is about 2 feet across and 5 feet tall.
DRY WINDOW CLEANING | The initial test we completed was placing the HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot on an outdoor window, without applying a cleaning solution to the cleaning pads, and allowing it to clean the entire window.
Once the test started, we noticed we had placed the robot too close to the edge of the window which resulted in the HOBOT thinking it was done cleaning the window after about 30 seconds.
From there, we re-positioned the window cleaning robot in a more appropriate location and allowed it to clean the window again. This time around, we found that the HOBOT was able to cover the entire window in less than 5 minutes. After doing so, the window looked visibly cleaner and we noticed the cleaning pad of the HOBOT 198 had a clearly visible layer of dirt / dust from the window.
It was clear that the HOBOT removed the thin layer of dust / dirt from the window, but the more stuck on stains or streaks were not removed with the dry cleaning pads.
DAMP WINDOW CLEANING | Next up, we sprayed some window cleaning solution onto the cleaning pads of the HOBOT. We then ran the window cleaner on the same window to measure whether or not the robot was able to remove the stuck on stains and streaks.
After the test had been completed, we once again saw a visibly cleaner window and a more notably dirty cleaning cloth. There were some areas that the HOBOT 198 missed, but for the most part, it did a fine job of cleaning the window.
INTERIOR WINDOW CLEANING | Next, we moved the robot to a window inside the house (sliding glass door with handprints and dog nose prints) and gave it the opportunity to clean the window.
While watching the HOBOT clean this larger, more visibly dirty window, I was able to see stains and streaks removed from the glass. This was probably the most impressive cleaning session I watched the HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot complete.
Overall, the HOBOT cleans well. There were some spots I would have liked to see be removed, but the overall performance was strong, in my opinion.
Using the HOBOT 198 robot window cleaner is quite simple for the most part. Changing modes is done at the click of a button and putting the robot to work is as easy as popping it on the window and setting it loose.
SETUP | There is virtually no setup required with the HOBOT 198. This robot window cleaner comes out of the box fully assembled with cleaning pads and rings already attached to the unit. The most time-consuming pieces of setting up this robot are unboxing the parts and charging up the battery.
Although the HOBOT window cleaning robot must be connected to the power source at all times, there is a backup battery in case of power failure.
DAILY OPERATION | Using the unit on a daily basis is also rather simple. The process is as follows:
- Apply cleaning pads and rings to the bottom of the HOBOT 198
- Apply window cleaning solution (optional) to the pads
- Place the robot on the window and turn it on
- Ensure the robot is sticking to the window (before you let go) and select your cleaning mode
When the HOBOT is done cleaning it will sound a small alarm so that you are aware it needs to be removed from the window. The process is quick and easy all around.
CLEANING PAD | The cleaning pads are also easy to maintain and change. Due to their yellow color, dirt is extremely easy to see on the cleaning pad. Therefore, users can clearly tell when the pad is dirty and needs to be changed or replaced. The cleaning pads are machine washable, but make sure you don’t tumble dry them (just let them air dry).
CLEANING MODES | Three cleaning modes are available with this robot window cleaner;
- Vertical cleaning mode
- Left to right cleaning mode
- And right to left cleaning mode
These modes are indicated on the remote and smartphone app by overlapping rings pointing in the direction you want the robot to travel.
APP CONTROL | A smartphone app is also available for the HOBOT 198. By downloading the app users can control the HOBOT the same way they would with the remote control. The interface of the app is almost identical to the remote’s interface, making it easy to understand.
All things considered, the HOBOT 198 is easy to use.
RELATED – The HOBOT can be a nice addition to your home’s automation systems. For even more automated cool stuff, check out our full smart home devices guide.
Maneuverability on HOBOT window cleaning robot is good, but by no means is it a fast-paced mover.
CLEANING PATTERNS | The HOBOT 198 cleans in a few different patterns, but the main style is still the same. Users have the option of sending the robot up and down the window or side-to-side, but the way this window cleaning robot cleans will still be through a zigzag pattern.
The cleaning pads rotate in opposite directions, which allows the unit to travel in the zigzag. By doing so, the HOBOT is able to cover more surface area with a single rotation.
SPEED | Speed may not be of the essence for all users since you’re not having to manually clean the windows, but the HOBOT 198 is not necessarily a speedy robot. The robot seems to travel at a lower speed so it can more thoroughly clean the window on both dry and damp mode.
WIRELESS CONTROLLING | This specific window cleaning robot can be controlled by the included remote or by the Bluetooth smartphone app. Both of these options allow users to send the robot into a specific cleaning mode or maneuver it around manually.
There are arrows on the app and remote that allow users to manually drive the robot around. Simply press the arrow of the direction you would like the HOBOT to travel and it will move that way.
OVERALL MANEUVERABILITY | When we look at the maneuverability of this HOBOT window cleaning robot, there are a few things missing, in my opinion.
To begin with, the robot has modes allowing it to move either up and down or side-to-side. After our first test on a small window, we found that the up and down cleaning mode was not beneficial. The robot thought it had cleaned the entire window when in reality it has only reached about half.
As we moved into the side-to-side cleaning mode, the HOBOT 198 made a huge leap and covered the entire window during the cleaning cycle. Therefore, we chose to use the side-to-side cleaning mode for the remainder of our tests.
After moving to a larger window (sliding glass door in my home), we noticed once again that the side-to-side cleaning method maneuvered better than the up and down method.
I’m not totally sure why the up and down mode struggled so much. Perhaps it’s the size of the window or perhaps our initial placement on the window.
Overall, the HOBOT maneuvers well for the most part, but I do believe the vertical cleaning mode could be improved.
The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the robot. However, your individual experiences may vary
|Accessory / Part||Replacement Frequency||Replacement Cost|
|Cleaning pad||As needed||Check Price|
|Cleaning Rings||As needed||Check Price|
CLEANING RINGS | Overall maintenance on the HOBOT is incredibly simple. There really aren’t any parts that need to be frequently replaced. If you break or lose your cleaning rings, you may need to replace those (however, you do have 2 complete sets with the HOBOT 198 package).
CLEANING PADS | Beyond that, the only part to replace is the cleaning pads. The HOBOT 198 comes with 12 cleaning pads already, which are also machine washable. The manufacturer doesn’t provide any indication of how long they should last. That said, based on my experience with other microfiber cleaning cloths they seem like the initial 12 cloths should last several years.
Annual maintenance costs for the HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot should cost around around $8 / year. This includes a 3 pack of cleaning pads, which should last 3 years or so (1 set of cloths per year).
BACKUP BATTERY | There is the issue of the battery as well. However, I would expect this battery to last quite a while. You really don’t ever use the battery power (since the unit is plugged in), it’s only there in the case of a power failure. As a result, the battery life should be significant.
And in any case, you could choose to operate without battery power. Though you might want to watch it a bit closer while using it for safety’s sake.
The overall value of the HOBOT 198 window cleaning robot is good. The price is a bit high, but that is to be somewhat expected with a hands-free, robot window cleaner.
With regard to cleaning performance, it met all my expectations. After running the HOBOT on both indoor and outdoor windows we were able to compare the cleaning pads and overall cleanliness of the window to discover how well it performed. All things considered, I was impressed with the cleaning performance as a whole.
Usability and maneuverability were solid as well. With three different cleaning modes, the HOBOT is able to maneuver around windows with ease. Placing it in those modes is also easy with either the remote or smartphone app.
Maintenance really boils down to one thing, changing the cleaning pad and charging the battery. Costs are low and it does not require a whole lot of extra effort to maintain this specific HOBOT model.
Last but not least, the warranty and return period is straightforward. HOBOT offers a 1-year warranty on the unit itself and a 6-month warranty on the battery of the unit. The return period is 30-days, via Amazon.
Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the HOBOT 198:
|Backup Battery Life||20 mins|
|Cordless||No - 20' cord|
|Returns||30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer|
The HOBOT 198 is a well-rounded robot window cleaner, but it is not going to be the right choice for every user. That said, there are certainly many benefits to owning this robot.
I would recommend the HOBOT 198 if you’re looking for the following features in a window cleaning robot:
- Want a robot to clean your windows for you – If you’re tired of having to spend your own time cleaning your windows, the HOBOT can be a great assistant. This robot is designed to take almost all of the manual labor out of cleaning your windows. Place the Hobot 198 on the window, with or without cleaning solution, and set it loose while you sit back and relax.
- Want a decent cleaning performance – The HOBOT 198 offers a strong cleaning performance for the most part. When dry cleaning, it was able to remove a layer of dust and dirt off of a window. After applying a window cleaning solution to the cleaning pads of the HOBOT, we found that the unit was able to clear the glass of any streaks and a majority of stuck on debris.
- Don’t have a tight budget – One of the most important factors to take into consideration is the price of the HOBOT 198. If you’re not restricted by a budget, then this could be a good option for you. Otherwise, you will want to be sure this is exactly what you want before spending the money on this window cleaning robot.
For more information on the HOBOT 198 visit Amazon.com.
Last Updated - August 7, 2018
The following logs all major updates and changes made to this page.
- August 7, 2018 – Updated the review score as part of our site-wide 1.0 scoring overhaul. Score remained the same at 93%.
A Window Cleaning Robot Winner
The HOBOT 198 is a window cleaning robot that is designed to take the physical labor out of cleaning windows. Slap this guy on your windows and turn it loose for a hands free window cleaning session. Overall cleaning performance on the HOBOT 198 is pretty good. However, if your windows have super stuck on debris or dirt, it may not remove 100% of that. It’s ideal for windows that have light to moderately heavy dirt / dust.
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, and poodle, Tibbers.