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.
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.