An outdoor heater keeps the party going.

Hot Date: This Outdoor Robot Heater Will Do Whatever You Wish

We know we’re spoiled out here in coastal Southern California, what with our 50-degree lows and all. And yet, C and her friends are always freeezing. So for when we’re watching movies or football or entertaining outside, RB built this snazzy heater. It’s especially helpful when we don’t have enough space indoors (or when things are a bit, um, cluttered around the house) to accommodate all of our darling guests.


Our region’s day-to-night temp disparities make outdoor heating an essential. In the summer, the box cover triples as a sunshade and chalkboard to keep the coastal elements from rusting the heater.


C and our friend Steph catch up on music videos on a nippy, two-burner kind of night.

We call it the Robot Heater. A departure from the usual fiery towers that clog our favorite indoor-outdoor restos, RB’s outdoor heater is lean, modern and multitextural, and bears more than a passing resemblance to Johnny Five. (Hey, RB’s a child of the ’80s. Shoulder pads are to him what Crystal Pepsi is to C.) Robo runs on propane, and is able to remain stable, despite its svelte shape, thanks to the 100-pound steel pinion gear at its base.

Its handy top shelf is made of African mahogany. The heating unit angle is adjustable with a supporting aluminum crossbar that raises and swivels as you please. You can fire up one, two or three burners at the same time. Even better, the heater’s on wheels, so we can transport it around the yard to wherever we’re shivering over our tacos. The only place it doesn’t travel is into the future — at least not yet.