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

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This is the first of its kind manicure robot that uses artificial intelligence technology and 3D imaging to evenly cover nails without burrs. Designed by Clockwork, which aims to “free people from the mundane of daily tasks,” this machine can offer a nail polish service in less than 10 minutes for just $8.

“The first robotic manicure for unstoppable people. No faux pas. There is no slowdown. No chatter,” the company’s website says. The observation of the founders of Clockwork is this: many people go to a beauty salon every week for a manicure, which requires about an hour of their time from them. The goal of their robot is to offer the same service, but in record time.

“We wanted to create an affordable and affordable option for women so they can get quality services without spending a lot of time and money,” Renuka Apte, co-founder and CEO of Clockwork, told InStyle magazine. Using artificial intelligence and 3D scanning technology to determine the exact size and shape of the wearer’s nails, Clockwork MiNiCURE applies polish perfectly.

Fast but minimal service

According to the company, the AI ​​can determine the edges of the nail with an accuracy of 0.3 mm and tell the robot what the boundaries of the skin and nail are. This data is then processed by complex algorithms that determine how the device’s nozzle should move in order to apply nail polish where needed.

Standing in front of the machine, simply select a color, then insert the small lacquer cartridges into the machine (such as a coffee machine). Once the hand is correctly positioned in the designated area, all that is left is to start (verbally) the car and that’s it! Before applying nail polish, MINICURE reminds you of some basic tips for successful application, in particular how to position your hands; you must, of course, remain perfectly still, because the slightest movement can affect the final result.

Please note that this remains an “express” manicure: nails are not prepared before application, as in the institute, so there is no, for example, treatment or cuticle care, and no top coat is applied at the end. “MiniCURE Clockwork only polishes the nails, and it’s not a manicure, it’s a nail polish application. […] If your nails are uneven and your cuticles are jagged, this will result in an even finish, but not necessarily a flawless manicure,” confirms Rita Remarque, Manicurist at Essie.

Therefore, it is recommended that users remove old polish and file their nails themselves before proceeding with the device – if necessary, nail files and pads soaked in nail polish remover are available at all MiNiCURE points. Also, do not expect very artistic work: no beautiful patterns, no rhinestones, no sequins. Available in solid colors only (nude, pastel or bright).

What about 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 claims that all of them are free of at least 5 components, that is, they do not contain the five main toxic compounds, namely toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.

“Be where people already are”

The robot has already been adopted by Target, the second-largest discount retailer in the United States. To date, six of the many salons of this large network offer their clients to get a manicure in the store (after online booking).

According to Gerald Storch, former CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us and retail consultant, it’s critical for retailers to focus more on customer experience in order to increase store traffic. “The more interesting the store environment, the better,” he told Yahoo Finance. All professional service robots, including manicure robots, will grow significantly in the coming years, reaching $170 billion by 2030, according to the Boston Consulting Group.

According to Renuka Apte, today Clockwork is responding to tens of thousands of partnership requests from around the world, and many MiNiCUREs are due to be installed next year (including in dentists!). “Our rule of thumb has always been to be where people already are and where they spend most of their time,” says the CEO.

Do these robots threaten the US beauty salon market and the estimated 395,600 nail technicians who work there? Absolutely not, according to the leader. ” As [les distributeurs automatiques et les fast-foods] didn’t affect restaurants, we don’t see ourselves competitive with traditional salons,” she tells InStyle. The MiNiCURE offer remains very concise compared to the more complex services of beauty salons.

The operation of MiNiCURE is demonstrated in the following video:


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