The CoolBot Story

Kate and Ron Khosla started Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz, NY in 1999. As small farmers, they learned the value of money the hard way, literally pulling it a few cents at a time from the ground. So when they looked into adding a walk-in cooler to the farm, the idea of spending $3,500 for a used walk-in cooler, or thousands more for a new one, wasn’t appealing. Additionally, they didn’t want to be reliant on a technician that would be expensive to hire and difficult to reach on short notice. They couldn’t find an affordable option on the market, so they created their own: their solution was the CoolBot.

Ron’s idea was to utilize an off-the-shelf air conditioner as the engine for a walk-in cooler refrigeration system. What Ron realized is that off-the-shelf air conditioners utilize proven and reliable technology, and are precision engineered to last at least 5 years.

Ron began the prototyping process by hardwiring a high amperage timer onto the air conditioner. While this method worked in some respects, he quickly realized it was clunky and unintuitive – it required ‘surgery’ to the air conditioner and didn’t account for the volume and temperature fluctuations in his walk-in cooler. Additionally, he continually had problems with the air conditioner’s fins freezing, as the system didn’t turn off the air conditioner when the fins became too cold.

After tinkering with the system for multiple seasons, Ron had a sudden inspiration – he needed a controller that worked with the air conditioner to dynamically regulate the temperature. Ron reached out to his college roommate Timothy, an Engineer from Cornell University, for help building a unit designed to do just that. They worked together and built the first generation of the CoolBot.

Today’s CoolBot now utilizes a micro-controller brain with multiple sensors attached to it and can work efficiently with many brands of air conditioners. From its roots at the Huguenot Street Farm, we have sold over 50,000 CoolBots since 2006 to all corners of the world, changing the way people cool their produce, food, drinks and more!