Meet BILL, Nike’s sneaker-cleaning robot

Wanting to polish its green credentials by making sneakers last as long as possible, Nike has created the Bot Initiated Longevity Lab, otherwise known as BILL.

BILL (below) is a huge brush-packed device designed to clean your Nike shoes so they look as good as new.

This month, BILL resides in Nike’s flagship store in central London, offering customers the chance to have their Nike sneakers refurbished for free. The service even includes all the minor repairs that need to be done, although it seems that human personnel, rather than BILL, will do them.

Keep an eye on. BILL doesn’t want to wear Nike shoes. Currently, the robot only welcomes Air Force 1s, Air Jordan 1s, Space Hippie 01s, and Nike Dunks.

So, how does BILL work its magic? Well, according to Nike, after BILL loads a shoe into the robot, BILL first creates a 3D digital model of it to highlight targeted areas of cleaning on the shoe’s upper, sidewalls, and outsole.

Shoppers can also manually select wear areas on the shoe’s upper to indicate what they want repaired.

Once BILL has deployed its various brushes, cloths and other tools to meet the shoe’s needs – a process that apparently takes about 45 minutes – Nike staff will take a moment to add new liners and laces made from recycled materials. add. And with those repairs presumably done as well, you should be good to go.

“The point is that maintaining an old product is very personal,” Nike chief executive Noah Murphy-Reinhertz said in a release. “People will go to great lengths to take care of their favorite shoes. Repairing a product is a way to expand our memory with a product. We see BILL as a tool to do that. Robots can do things that are difficult by hand, but when we use robotics as part of a recycling technology, we still want the service to be personal.”

Murphy-Reinhertz said the implementation of BILL is a pilot exercise that will hopefully provide Nike with some useful insights for its future engagement in sustainable services.

BILL complements the company’s existing green service, such as Nike Refurbished, which extends the life of eligible products by refurbishing worn, slightly imperfect sneakers, and Nike Recycling and Donation, which asks customers to return their old Nike – hand in sports equipment so that parts of it can be reused in some way.

In September, you can meet BILL at Nike Town on London’s Oxford Street. After that, you think you should throw your sneakers in the washing machine as usual.

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