Hate cleaning windows? HO PEI YING puts this innovative robot to work to see if it would do a good job of her windows and glass doors.
WHAT IT IS
The Ecovacs Winbot 830 is a 22cm square robot cleaner that wipes down windows, glass doors and bathroom panels, as well as other smooth surfaces like laminated cabinet surfaces. It comes with three Velcro cleaning pads, a bottle of its own cleaning solution (others might ruin the machine), a remote control, a power adaptor, a 1.5m extension cord, and a safety suction cup as well as tether.
HOW IT WORKS
Setting up is straightforward. Attach a cleaning pad to the machine, spray cleaning solution on the pad, plug in, then place the machine on the window or glass door. When switched on, it automatically sticks to a surface. Smart Shopper ROAD TEST The default mode is Automatic, where sensors take a few seconds to map a cleaning route before the machine starts moving. You can also direct its path manually with a remote control.
It took about 5min to clean my metre-long square window. On auto mode, once cleaning is complete, the machine returns to its original position so you can reach it. It stays there and emits loud beeps until you switch it off. When cleaning the outside of windows, place the machine on the outer side but stick the suction cup and tether on the inside of the window as a safety measure to prevent it from falling off a high-rise window in case you accidentally lose your grip of it.
Very important: I had to be sure to have a good grip on the machine when removing it from the window – especially when it was on the outside – and before I turned it off. Once the power is cut off, it loses its suction power and falls off the glass.
WHAT I LIKED
• It did a comprehensive and good job of cleaning dirty windows and a dusty glass door.
• The remote control let me navigate the robot to corners it couldn’t reach while on auto mode.
• I was surprised to find it worked on other smooth surfaces, too. I used it on the laminated doors of my wardrobe and grimy kitchen cabinets.
• The 2.8m cable and 1.5m extension cord gave it a generous 4.3m working distance from a power point.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER
• While it made windows grime-free, it left streaks from the cleaning solution. These were less obvious after I worked the Winbot on them a second time.
• It was loud. I couldn’t hear the TV while it worked. And I wish the jobcomplete beeps would stop after a few seconds instead of going on and on until I switched it off.
A useful machine to clean your windows and glass doors, but there was really no escaping the loud noise it made.
Ecovacs Winbot 830, $1,099, is available at Home-Fix and Hipvan.