Nike's First Shoe Cleaning Robot: We Tried It Out

Tech
Speaker 1: Let's be honest, there's nothing worse for a sneakerhead than a dirty pair of sneaks. And sure, you can clean them the old fashioned way. They're clean now, but eventually I'll have to do that all over again. Come on, it's 2022. There's gotta be a better way, right? Speaker 1: This is Nike's bot Initiated Longevity Lab or Bill for short. Bill is a new robot [00:00:30] power cleaning system that Nike says will not only deep clean, but also allow you to customize and repair your old worn out shoes. We were recently invited to give Bill Finn at the Niketown London store alongside our old pair of dunks. The first step is doing a scan, taking 75 pictures from all angles of the shoe, and then with the photos, they use a software called photogrammetry, which stitches together a 3D recreation. From there, the staff is able to pinpoint exactly which spots the focus are cleaning on. After the scan, the shoe is ready to be cleaned, slipping [00:01:00] an adjustable footlike mechanism into the shoe, so it keeps a consistent shape. Then a human engineer ties the top lace and slides the shoe into the tracks. Speaker 1: First step is brushing, then spraying the shoe with a bit of soap and a solid rubdown. It also features a four sensor that ensures the robot always uses the same amount of force and doesn't squash any part of the shoe. This process can be repeated two to three times as the shoe is really dirty. Then they go to the drying [00:01:30] unit, which is pretty much a huge hair dryer. The system uses an inflatable white bag that hooks around the shoe and streams hot air onto leather for about three to five minutes. While the shoe's cleaning, people can decide if they want to add any additional patches that will cover up any spots, holes, floors, or threads. It's also a pretty cool way for people to customize and bring new life into their old shoes. The entire process takes about 45 to 50 minutes. Bill's a part of Nike's push for sustainability, [00:02:00] creating products that can be refurbished and repaired. While there, we were able to talk to Marritz car, a robotics hardware engineer who ran us through the robots process. Speaker 2: We teamed up with Nike, built this shoe cleaning and repair robot, and our goal is to encourage customers to think about their old one sneakers in a way of what potential they still have and make it an experience for the customer to get home and being excited about this new shoe and still wear it another year. Speaker 1: [00:02:30] And while Bill is pretty sophisticated, Maites did un admit there are a few limitations to its current iteration. One being that it's designed to work on specific Nike leather shoes like Air Force one s, but it may struggle in more shiny reflective shoes due to bill's use of heat activation to apply patches. Bill also can't do every shoe size, but Maites did say they intend to add kit sizes in the future. Because Bill's modular, the cleaning, drying and scanning can [00:03:00] be moved around. This helps engineer like Maurice to evaluate and apply changes to the next iteration of Bill. As you can see, the current version of Bill did a pretty good job in making our old dunks look as good as new as well as the replacement laces and patches are looking sick. If you'd like to give Bill a try for yourself, you can find at the Niketown London store. Sadly, as of right now, Nike hasn't announced any plans to bring the bot to other locations, but if you happen to be in the London area, make sure to tell Bill that cnet Sentia. But [00:03:30] what do you think of Bill? Would you trust him to clean your pair? Jays sound off in the comments below, and if you would like more fun content like this, please like and subscribe to cnet. Thanks for watching.

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