It doesn’t matter if it’s called a BBQ, a grill or a Barbie; those char-grilled steaks leave a thick layer of grease and grime behind. And while cooking is fun, cleaning is not. What you need is a neat little R2D2 to scrub the filth away, leaving you to crack a beer and get ready to fire up the next BBQ. Enter the Grillbot, a cute, single button operated bot that perches on your grill and lives to clean. It works automatically on both gas and charcoal grills (hot or cold).
A built-in LCD and alarm allows you to choose a light or deep clean and signals when cleaning is complete. Each Grillbot comes with a rechargeable battery pack, charger and LCD screen. A hanging storage case, extra brushes and extra batteries and chargers are also available.
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The Grillbot is the invention of former real estate agent Ethan Woods. Woods had his eureka moment while scrubbing his grill with a wire brush. He attached the brush to a power drill and the idea for the Grillbot was born.
“It's been a dream of mine for most of my adult life to invent a product and bring it to market,” says Woods. “After some research it was clear there was a very large market for something like this. So I started by contacting engineers and prototype development companies and they all said it couldn't be done. It was just too difficult with the heat issue on a grill and you can't make anything move around well enough to cover this type of surface.
“Never taking no for an answer, I finally found some very smart German engineers in California who said they could do it. They develop high tech medical equipment, among other things such as pool robots so I decided to give them a chance.”
While pleased with the results after a year, Woods reports the costs were “out of control” so he sent a few existing prototypes to an engineering firm in China. It was a huge risk but one that paid off as after another year of work, design and functionality of the Grillbot improved to Woods' satisfaction.
“So here I am two years into this project and a small fortune gone," he says. "My wife thought I was crazy to invest so much time and money in this venture. She was very worried the first year and a half and only recently with all the attention has become a believer. But finally the launch of the Grillbot is just weeks away. Very exciting!”
- Push button operation
The Grillbot will be available in mid-June. Approximate estimates put the RRP at US$99.95 for the premium model and US$69,95 for the base model.
Product page: GrillbotsView gallery - 18 images