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Nike Unveils Shoe Repairing Robot Called B.I.L.L

As part of a new sustainability initiative and to cater to the ‘sneakerhead’ market, Nike has developed a new robot that cleans and repairs your favourite shoes.

The B.I.L.L (Bot Imitated Longevity Lab) is a robot-augmented system that identifies issues and damage to the shoes, before deploying recycled polyester patches and water-based cleaning products.

“B.I.L.L. is an experiment with a specific end: Nike envisions a circular future where products are made with the intention of being reused, remade and discovered as something new,” said Sustainability Lead at Nike NXT, Noah Murphy-Reinhertz.

The robot starts by creating a 3D model of the shoe, which allows it to diagnose areas that need repair or cleaning.

Once clean, owners of the shoes can choose from a range of different patches for the top of their shoes, before a new liner and laces made from recycled materials are put on.

Nike says the process takes around 45 minutes, and is 100% free.

“The thing is, maintaining old product is deeply personal,” adds Murphy-Reinhertz.

“People will go to great lengths to care for their favourite shoes. Repairing a product is a way to extend our memory with a product. We see B.I.L.L. as a tool for being able to do that.”

“Robots can do things that are tough to do by hand, but when we used robotics as part of a recycling technology, we still want the service to be personal.”

B.I.L.L is being initially rolled out in their London store and will be available throughout September. If successful, Nike will weigh up rolling it out to stores internationally.

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