30 Aug '17, 5pm

The Robot Startup Using Static Electricity to Make Nike Sneakers

SUNNYVALE, United States — The most labour intensive part of putting together a pair of Nikes is assembling the “upper" — the flexible part of the shoe that sits on top of your foot. On many sneakers, uppers look like a single piece of material with no visible stitching, but they can actually be made of as many as 40 pieces that are stacked up just so and then heated so they fuse. While robots handle much of the shoemaking process, this has remained beyond their capacity. So humans remain in charge. Now the robots are coming. Four years ago, Nike Inc. made an investment in a startup based in Sunnyvale, California called Grabit that uses electroadhesion — the type of static electricity that makes your hair stand up when you rub it against a balloon — to help machines manipulate objects in novel ways. More recently, Nike has quietly become one of the startup’s first customer...

Full article: https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion-tech/t...

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