An AI-based robot for perfect, fast and inexpensive nail polish application

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It is the first of its kind: a manicure robot, which uses artificial intelligence technologies and 3D imaging to varnish the user’s nails, evenly and without burrs. Developed by the Clockwork company, which aims to “free people from mundane daily tasks”, this machine can offer a nail polish application service in less than 10 minutes, for only $8.

The first robot manicure for unstoppable humans. No faux pas. No slowdown. no chatter “, announces the company’s website. The observation of the founders of Clockwork is as follows: many people go to a beauty salon every week for a manicure, which requires them to devote about an hour of their time. The objective of their robot is to offer the same service, but in record time.

We wanted to create an accessible and affordable option for women to get quality service, without having to spend a lot of time and money. “, told the magazine In the style Renuka Apte, co-founder and CEO of Clockwork. Using AI and 3D scanning technology to determine the exact size and shape of the wearer’s nails, the Clockwork MiNiCURE applies polish perfectly.

Fast, but minimal service

According to the company, the AI ​​can identify the edges of the nail with an accuracy of 0.3 mm and tells the robot what the boundaries of the skin and the nail are. This data is then processed by sophisticated algorithms, which determine how the device’s nozzle should move to deposit the nail polish where it is needed.

Facing the machine, simply select a color, then insert the small cartridges containing the varnish into the machine (like a coffee pod machine). Once the hand is positioned correctly in the location provided for this purpose, it remains to give the go (verbally) to the machine and voila! Before applying the varnish, the MiNiCURE reminds you of some basic tips for a successful application, in particular on how to position your hands; you must of course remain perfectly still, because the slightest movement can impact the final result.

Note that this remains an “express” manicure: the nails are not prepared before application as in an institute – therefore no filing or cuticle care for example – and no topcoat is only applied at the end. ” The Clockwork MiNiCURE only polishes the nails and it is not a manicure, it is a polish application. […] If your nails are uneven and your cuticles are jagged, this will result in an even polish, but not necessarily a flawless manicure confirms Rita Remark, nail artist at Essie.

It is therefore recommended that users remove their old varnish themselves and file their nails before facing the device — if necessary, nail files and pads impregnated with nail polish remover are made available to all MiNiCURE locations. Also, do not expect a very artistic work: no pretty patterns, nor rhinestones or sequins. Only solid colors (nakedpastels or vivid) are offered.

Classy the toxicity of the varnishes used? The robot uses well-known brands (OPI, Essie, Zoya, China Glaze, Salon Perfect), as well as exclusive formulas. Clockwork asserts that they are all at least ” 5-free — meaning they are free of the five main toxic compounds, namely toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.

“Be where people are already”

The robot has already been adopted by Target — the second largest discount retailer in the United States. To date, six of the many stores of this large chain offer their customers to have their nails done in store (after booking online).

According to Gerald Storch, former CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us and retail consultant, it is crucial for retailers to place more emphasis on the customer experience in order to increase store footfall. ” The more fun the store environment, the better “, he told Yahoo finance. According to Boston Consulting Groupall professional service robots, including manicure robots, will experience significant growth in the coming years, reaching $170 billion by 2030.

According to Renucka Apte, Clockwork is responding today to tens of thousands of partnership requests from all over the world and many MiNiCURE should be installed next year (including in dentists’ offices!). ” Our rule of thumb has always been to be where people already are, and where they spend most of their time. “, underlines the CEO.

Are these robots threatening the US beauty salon market, and the approximately 395,600 nail technicians it employs? Absolutely not, according to the leader. ” As [les distributeurs automatiques et les fast-foods] have not affected restaurants, we do not see ourselves as competitive with traditional salons “, she explains to In the style. The MiNiCURE offer remains very succinct compared to the more elaborate services of beauty salons.

The operation of the MiNiCURE is demonstrated in the following video:

Source: Clockwork

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