MyBarberRobot

Barbering is one of the oldest professions in the world. Showing up in ancient Egyptian tomb paintings from nearly 6000 years ago, it wasn’t until the ancient Greek era where haircutting became an art form. We were approached with a new and ambitious project, to develop a robotic hair cutter. The goal was to build a working robot that can cut simple haircuts in under 20 minutes without creating a mess. Starting from scratch, our engineering team had many challenges they had to overcome during the development. Starting with airflow, we worked to develop the proper airflow for a strong and efficient suck from the clipper during the hair cut. This was a challenge since the unit was constantly in motion. This was achieved by creating airtight pivoting paths. Moving forward, the unit had to be able to cut on a variety of hair styles, head shapes, and sizes. We achieved this by creating a curved aluminum rail that the hair clipper could travel along as well as pivot to reach every part of the human head. While working on the mechanics of the unit, safety was a large concern. We wanted to make sure that the customer was at ease when getting his haircut. To address it, we implemented front cameras to track head movement as well as adding pressure sensitive sensors that shut off the machine when bumped.

  • MyBarberRobot
  • Mechanical Engineering, Prototyping
  • 2022

 

Engineering Overview

Accessibility

A major goal during the development was to be able to cut hair in a variety of ways. We had to take into consideration different styles of hair, head sizes and shapes, and locations that the hair clipper would access. This was achieved by creating a curved aluminum cnc’d rail on which the clipper can travel. This in combination with a pivot axis at the top of the unit allows for 360 degrees of rotation and a full zone around a variety of head positions that can cut the user’s hair.

 

Airflow

The engineering team worked to create air tight paths that could pivot for the vacuum, to make sure air flow and suction could remain constant while the machine was in motion.

 

Safety

Safety was a large factor during the development being that not everyone will be comfortable with a robot cutting their hair. The engineering team put a pair of cameras in the front of the unit to track a person’s head so that if they move outside of the working space, the unit stops cutting. At the same time, motors were chosen to have low torque to lessen the amount of possible harm. Finally, FSRs were implemented in the clipper head to sense contact with the head and shut off if it gets bumped into.