When Rick Goren first conceived of an electric shovel for gardening, landscaping and general outdoor use, he was both surprised and elated that such a product had yet to be invented and brought to market.
“Last year, around October, I was putting a subwoofer in the ground and went into my garage to see the tools available,” Goren recalls. “There were short and tall shovels and post hole diggers, and I realized it was going to take all night to dig. I happened to look over at a drill I had hanging on the wall, with a mortar bit, and I said ‘Where’s the electric shovel?’”
Almost immediately Goren hired two attorneys to research patents, and he began formulating what would become the RotoShovel — a handheld, automatic electric shovel with a seven-inch metal auger attached to a shovel blade. He then hired a company in Palo Alto, California, to help develop the first iterations of his new product.
“I also have a 16-year-old genius from Fishers High School named Patrick Nusbaum, who has helped me to build multiple additional prototypes that we could test locally to see what felt right and what didn’t,” Goren says. “Gardening is a great, healthy pastime but it can be hard on the back, knees and hands, and you get blisters. The RotoShovel gets rid of that and cuts your time way down. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with this product.”
After a few revisions and adjustments to the design, Goren retained a China-based company for the production phase. The product is expected to appear in markets around the world, and Goren says he’s had a high level of interest from several U.S. chains including Ace Hardware, True Value, Do it Best, Menards, Lowe’s and Home Depot. It’s expected to retail at $139.
“We think it’s going to become a household name all over the world because it is the first automatic handheld shovel with an auger in the world,” Goren says. “You have the landscaping market, the tool industry, power and light and swimming pool companies, construction – the RotoShovel has marketability for all of these. And we’re using the highest level of Japanese motor in the world to offer the highest quality possible.”
The RotoShovel is far from Goren’s first marketable creation. He’s been brainstorming and inventing products for decades now including the Qube, a cotton swab dispenser that made its way into Bed Bath & Beyond, and the Micro Vision Pro, which allows the user to move around freely using a laptop computer via a harnessed chassis.
When he’s not tinkering, Goren stays busy as owner of Fishers-based Technology Interiors, which offers home audio and video installation as well as home automation products for lighting, security, HVAC monitoring and more. He founded Technology Interiors 22 years ago, and in 2017 the company was included in CE Pro Magazine’s top 100 custom home technology integration companies in the U.S.
Goren says working with various engineers and entrepreneurs throughout his career has been the main inspiration for his continued interest in inventing his own products.
“I think it was just the influence of all those individuals that I was around my whole life that inspired me to see things a little bit differently and look a little deeper into products that are already out there,” Goren says.
Starting September 23, RotoShovel TV ads will appear on AMC networks and NewsWatch, and Goren recently launched the official product website as well. The product will also appear at the Green Industry & Equipment Expo, which Goren says is the largest trade show for landscaping and gardening equipment in the northern hemisphere, on October 16 through 18 in Louisville.
“I feel very fortunate and blessed that the universe gave me this product,” Goren says. “When you look at a shovel, it’s dumb and has no intelligence. The shovel was one of the first tools invented known to man. It’s more than 12,000 years old dating back to the neolithic age and has never been reinvented. So I think it’s time.”