Home / Blog / Need a present for your sweetie? Consider a Robot manicurist

Need a present for your sweetie? Consider a Robot manicurist

Having your nails painted by a robot? Yes, you can in San Francisco… Image credit: Clockwork

If you are going to San Francisco …. you no longer need to wear flowers in your hair but you can try a unique (for now) fingernail painting done by a robot.

Clockwork, a Silicon Valley start up, begun developing a nail painting robot back in 2017 and now they are in business, probably also fostered by the social distancing imposed by the pandemic. They have opened shop and are advertising a pandemic friendly manicure on their website where you can make an appointment for a 10 minute mail painting that will cost just 7.99$ (you won’t even have to add a tip for the robot!).

Apparently, based on some sort of scientific study! on their website, women spend on average 3,120 minutes every year painting their nails, that’s more that two full days of painting! This robot can cut the time by over 80% (assuming a paint per week that would seem reasonable to me, but being a man I can have it completely wrong…).

What is interesting is that once you are enrolling a robot for panting nails (they claim is a very smart robot, endowed with artificial intelligence) you can provide an unlimited set of painting styles that the customer can choose from, including those resulting in patterns that would simply be impossible to do manually.

The robot is a plotter with a camera able to recognise the nails (and the fingers below them). It can access a wide range of colours and materials delivering an unlimited number of patterns meeting any fancy.

This also means that such a business can create an ecosystem for artists to offer their nail painting suggestions that in principle you could buy from the web and upload to the robot at your next visit. Using AR you can see how that pattern would match the particular dress you are planning to wear at the party… The possibilities are only limited by your imagination…

Had you ask me just a year ago what is the role of AI in nail painting I would have said “none”. Boy, how wrong I would have been!

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.