Robots and Manicures

A nail art printing robot could get kids excited about computer science.

Automation and nail art. It doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue, but I’m excited nonetheless! I hate it when I’m trying to customize my nails for football season or the next holiday, and then I remember that I can’t draw.

Preemadonna, Inc. has created the Nailbot, a nail art printing robot—coming soon—that works with a smartphone. The user places their phone in the Nailbot’s cradle, preps their nails, and selects the desired image on their phone. Once the finger is placed on the printing surface, Preemadonna's augmented reality app finds the edges of the nail (using the smartphone’s camera) to place the graphic correctly onto the nail. The user taps to print, and the image is printed on the nail in about five seconds.

The inventors, Pree Walia and Casey Shulz, spent time on the industrial and research sides before co-founding Preemadonna, Inc. Walia worked in the hardware space at LED lighting and building automation startups while Schulz built satellites, cartesian robots and small motion control systems in her time at NASA, Lawrence Livermore and more.

In addition to promoting cute, creative nails, the team is passionate about teaching robotics and tech to diverse communities. Walia serves on the Board of Advisors for MakerGirl, a non-profit inspiring young girls to pursue STEM fields.

According to their site, many girls asked if they could build their own printer, so the company has created a maker program for girls (and boys) to program and build their own touchscreen printers using Arduino. (This printer is meant for paper or stickers, not nails.) They also plan to boost interest in computer science by enlisting Ambassadors to one day build mobile apps on top of the Nailbot.


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