There were several problems people encountered during the virus pandemic. The first, if you couldn’t afford a private barber to make an at-home visit – well, there were no barbershops opened because state governments deemed these businesses non-essential. The second issue, as economies reopened, allowing barbershop to resume operations, people who seriously needed a trim, were still fearful of stepping inside a commercial setting, nevertheless, having a stranger hover over them and touch their head for 15-30 minutes.
The pandemic has undoubtedly created a confidence crisis in barbershops. To solve this issue, one millennial during the epidemic built an impressive robot that cuts hair.
Shane Wighton of the YouTube channel Stuff Made Here built what appears to be a robo-barber using AI.
“There are no buzzers or trimmer involved, just a pair of scissors. And a whole lot of engineering and programming skills,” said Nerdist.
Here’s the general gist of how it works. The cutting mechanism, attached to an adjustable lever, rotates around the head of the “customer.” The machine then selects hair and measures how far away it is from the person’s scalp. That way it won’t accidentally cut them. Then, a vacuum grabs the hair and sucks it up. The hair is pulled tight, just like a human would do, while a small section of locks is portioned off. Then the attached scissors snip away the exposed hair at the correct angle. The entire device is attached to a computer program that allows the user to select the haircut of their choice.
Ultimately it was successful. The built-in safety mechanisms worked, as Wighton was never harmed, and he got a passable haircut. Passable. But there were some issues. A math error made the haircut take four times longer than it should have. The protective mechanism also stopped the machine from cutting hair near his ears. -Nerdist
Wighton explains in the video how the robot works. There’s also a demonstration of the robot cutting the inventor’s hair.
While robo-barbers could instill confidence among consumers in a post-corona world – the more significant issue will be permanent job loss as the virus has forced corporations to adopt automation and AI at hyperspeed.