Attack of the Killer Grillbots: Apple World Today Review
Posted on March 16 2017
Every once in a while it's fun to post a review of something that is tech-related but doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Apple. That's the case with the Grillbot grill-cleaning robot (from $74.17 - this is an affiliate link benefitting Apple World Today; if you buy one, we'll be reimbursed). I first heard about Grillbot during CES 2017 where it received more attention than most of the "real" tech items, and since I do a lot of grilling, I thought I'd try one out on my surprisingly dirty old gas grill.
I love robots! I was one of the early adopters of the Roomba robotic vacuum, although I've defected to the much superior (IMHO) Neato Botvacs. Soon I'll have a review of a "flying robot", the Hover Camera Passport. So it was only a matter of time before I'd get excited by a robot that would clean up years of carbonized animal flesh and grease on my grill.
In the box you get the rather heavy little Grillbot with three brass brushes installed and an AC adapter. After charging the device fully, you're ready to do a first clean on your grill. Although I usually scrape off the latest crud on my gas grill with a brass brush before cooking, it's still a bit of a mess. Grillbot recommends running the device for 30 minutes for a first cleaning.
This is done by setting the timer for that period of time. There's a simple on/off button -- pushing it once to turn the device on, then two more times to get up to 30 minutes, you then have about 3 seconds to put the Grillbot onto your grill. The company says to close the top of the grill so you don't get hit by flying debris. Some things are better seen than described, so here's a video showing just how Grillbot works.
The end result? It cleaned up the grill grate pretty well, although I think I'd be better off if I just purchased replacement grates and then used the Grillbot regularly to keep things sparkly clean. If I had any requests of the manufacturer, it would be to give the Grillbot some iPhone smarts. Allow programming of the cleaning duration from an app and also provide notifications from the Grillbot to an iPhone when the cleaning is complete. But that's what a 2.0 version is for, right?
In addition, the $75 or so current price is really a little high. I'm sure that the manufacturer will lower the price eventually as soon as all of the initial marketing, trademark protection, and other startup costs are recouped. Sell this guy for about $40 and make a connected version for $100, and Grillbots will rule the world!