San Francisco startup introduces first-ever manicure ROBOT, which paints nails in just ten minutes

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A startup company has introduced the first-ever manicure robot, which can perfectly paint nails in about ten minutes.

Watch, which opened a lab in San Francisco last Friday, offers contactless manicures for just $7.99.

The lab’s two new machines take pictures of customers’ nails and coat them with nail polish, getting them in and out the door in a fraction of the time it takes to get a traditional mani.

A mani in minutes! A startup company has introduced the first-ever manicure robot, which can perfectly paint nails in about ten minutes

Clockwork offers contactless manicures for just $7.99

Clockwork offers contactless manicures for just $7.99

The lab's two new machines take pictures of customers' nails and coat them with nail polish

The lab’s two new machines take pictures of customers’ nails and coat them with nail polish

Clockwork’s manicure robots have been in development since 2017, but last week the company opened a pop-up location for customers to try it out for the first time.

“Clockwork designs robots that free people from mundane everyday tasks,” says the company’s website.

‘Why nails? For many of us, checking off the list is a weekly task. Most people spend 60 minutes a week on their nails. That’s 3,120 minutes a year! But if we can cut that down to just 10 minutes – what would you do with those extra moments?’

Customers have to make arrangements, with time slots booked weeks in advance.

They should arrive with clean nails, although they can use the lab nail polish remover to wipe them off themselves.

When finished, hands are placed in the machine one at a time. One finger is placed under a sensor and cameras inside take pictures of the nail to determine its exact shape.

The company was founded in 2017 but opened a lab in San Francisco last Friday

The company was founded in 2017 but opened a lab in San Francisco last Friday

The robots paint nails, but don't cut or shape them - so for now they're just an extra service or a way to get a quick brushing

The robots paint nails, but don’t cut or shape them – so for now they’re just an extra service or a way to get a quick brushing

The machine then coats each nail, one at a time, using both hands in about ten minutes.

While the robots are currently only available on Clockwork’s pop-up, the company expects them to appear in stores, offices, and even apartment complexes in the future.

But while the goal is to have the machines in many locations, Renuka Apte, who co-founded the company with Aaron Feldstein, doesn’t think they pose a threat to professional nail technicians.

She pointed to the New York Times that the robots paint nails, but don’t cut and shape them – so for now they’re just an extra service or a way to get a quick brushing.

Julie Bornstein, who founded the shopping app The Yes and invested in Clockwork, explained that particular utility to the Times.

After the pop-up opened last week, TikTok user Elissa Maercklein offered a peek inside the store and a close-up video of what it was really like to get a manicure from a robot.

After the pop-up opened last week, TikTok user Elissa Maercklein offered a peek inside the store and a close-up video of what it was really like to get a manicure from a robot.

Elissa shows her putting one hand into the device, with one finger in place.  The inside of the machine flashes lights over her finger

Elissa shows her putting a hand into the device, with one finger in place. The inside of the machine flashes lights over her finger

A brush comes down and outlines the nail, then fills it in with customer's choice of color

A brush comes down and outlines the nail, then fills it in with customer’s choice of color

“I don’t think this will replace the artistry of nail technicians, but I do think it’s a great quick option for professionals and working people to get your nails done,” she said.

“Personally, I don’t like going to the nail salon for 40 minutes,” she said.

Investors include Alexis Ohanian of Reddit and former Stitch Fix COO Julie Bornstein.

After the popup opened last week, TikTok user Elissa Maercklein offered a look inside the shop and a close-up video of what it was really like to get a manicure from a robot.

Elissa shows her putting one hand into the device, with one finger in place. The inside of the machine flashes lightly over her finger before a brush comes down and outlines the nail, then fills in.

While she was clearly impressed by the robots – writing that she “lived in the future” – she agreed with the estimate that they would not replace professionals.

“I don’t think this will replace the artistry of nail technicians, but I do think it’s a great quick option for professionals and working people to get your nails done,” she said.

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