No one cuts their own hair at any age while mom puts the shears away when we?re about five years old, which means hair-cutting and styling businesses basically have us for life. In terms of dollars expended per head taking care of our hair, the numbers are quite staggering.
According to a British survey conducted by Tresemme, the average woman spends a $50,000 on her hair over her lifetime. Robot makers were late in finding out what the beauty industry had known all along: there?s a fortune in hair care to be made just waiting for automation to happen along. Annual hair care expenditures for the U.S alone: $ 61 billion.
Gizmodo reports that ?Panasonic has officially begun testing the future of hair care with its robotic shampooer that?s now available for the public to try? at beauty salons in Nishinomiya City, Japan.
Using twenty-four articulated artificial fingers the robot first ?feels? the customer?s head to determine its size and shape, and then applies a pre-lathered shampoo before giving the head a thorough scrubbing. The robot is also able to automatically rinse the hair, apply a conditioner during a massaging mode, and even blow dry it off at the end.
Yukio Honda, director of Panasonic’s robot development center said there are definite plans to also supply it to hospitals and care facilities in the near future; a huge convenience for staff caring for elderly and handicapped.
In the U.S. alone each year, we spend an average of $160 on shampoos and conditioners, $120 for styling products and $520 for haircuts in an industry that?s growing at a 3.5% clip. According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are 474,367 establishments in the category “Beauty Salons? while barber shops account for another 85,492 establishments. In short, there is a lot of potential out there for a Salon Bot to automate.
?Back in 2010 Panasonic displayed a prototype of a new type of robot that could perform a feet only humans have done so far?wash and shampoo hair. The new robot utilizes a special mechanism that learns a variety of head shapes and was developed to resemble a human person giving a head massage. The fingers can be finely moved using separate independent mechanisms for a comfortable fit to any head size (the robot uses a special arm that can extend to support different head sizes). ?Initially the robot uses a large amount of hot water to loosen up the hair and apply a small amount of hair gel and shampoo to the user. The robot also sprays a special hair conditioner in the form of a mist that spreads uniformly across the hair.
?Hospitals as well as nursing homes and care facilities are prime candidates for the hair washing robot which can help reduce burden on the stuff and cut costs while providing an important service for the patients.?
See RBR50: Panasonic
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