DALLAS — A robot that can paint nails is making its retail debut at a few Target stores in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Clockwork doesn’t do a full manicure, but it provides a change of color in under 10 minutes for $10.
Clockwork founder and CEO Renuka Apte said the concept is for people like herself who want to look a certain way, and feel confident when they do, “but can’t prioritize beauty time.”
Apte said she won’t replace specialized beauty services for people who have the hour it takes to get a manicure and the money to spend. “We’re catering to women, one after another, who have told us this shouldn’t be as much of a commitment.”
There was a void between a multistep manicure treatment and DIY at home, she said. “There was no quick service. I had wished I could put my hands in something and they’d come out done.”
Target is testing Clockwork robot manicurists at six U.S. stores with an $8 introductory offer. Appointments can be made online with the robots installed locally at the Medallion Center Target in Dallas on East Northwest Highway and two more in Fort Worth.
Three more Target stores in California and Minnesota have installed the robots.
The machine uses regular nail polish that’s free of DBP, formaldehyde and other chemicals.
It doesn’t cut or shape nails, but nail files and polish remover are available. Clockwork is shaped like a box, but it’s a robot in the mechanical sense.
Nail painting is one labor intensive procedure that most would have believed was safe against competition from automation. But Clockwork’s artificial intelligence and 3D technology quickly figures out the size of each nail and the right amount of polish to use. Technology advances in cameras, which allow robots to see better, make Clockwork possible, Apte said.