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BUILD PROJECT: FLEEK

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What we built

We built a proof-of-concept surgical-precision eyebrow microblading system (robot + software).

Our project, which we built over the course of four days, consisted of:
- Eyebrow design web application (similar to a basic version of Photoshop)
- Augmented reality (AR) simulation of eyebrow design on your face
- Software to translate eyebrow design into 3D coordinates and feed it to…
- Robot built from torn-down CNC machine, used to draw eyebrow design on face
- Safety mechanism to avoid too much pressure being applied to face by robot

After a number of late nights and early mornings, we ended up getting the system fully working 10 minutes before the start of the expo (we were the first booth, and there were 1,000 attendees).

Challenges we encountered

We initially were going to build the system using an off-the-shelf industrial robot, with more hardware focus going into the end-of-arm tool (EOAT), however we weren’t able to procure one on time for the project. We also spent some time looking into open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) robots (pictured right) with inverse kinematics to control the motion of the arm, but due to time constraints we decided to focus on a CNC machine and gcode instruction-based system. To build the robot, we disassembled a CNC machine, took the bottom plate which moves the z axis, and designed and 3D printed a custom part to mount the z axis motor on the top portion of the machine. This allowed us to cantilever the pen attachment over the customer, rather than clumsily moving their entire body to make the microblading tool stroke up or down.

We also encountered challenges with 3D printing the necessary parts. Since this involved one of the largest 3D printed parts we had done on our 3D printer, the machine needed to be recalibrated. We ended up compromising on the tool holder, making it out of bent metal instead.

Motivation

Getting permanent eyebrow makeup is a risky endeavor. There’s currently no way to see what you are going to get, until after the job is done. And if you hate it, you have to live with it for several months. Nonetheless customers are still spending $400-1000 per session to get brows on fleek!

Approach

Fleek is transforming the microblading experience by digitizing and automating the design and application of microblading.It begins with taking a 3D scan of the customer’s face. Then, using our fleek design studio, the artist draws a few eyebrow designs for the customer to choose from. The customer can then preview a realistic rendering of what it would look like on their face.

The chosen design will then be applied by surgery grade robots with superhuman precision.

We are the world’s first to digitize microblading before and after pictures in a standardized environment. 

This proprietary database will be used to train a generative neural net to automate the design of eyebrows, in addition to application, within one year.

Business model

Our initial target market is salons across North America, of which there are 300,000 and growing. Our business has 3 revenue drivers. The Fleek Machine retails for $90k, our margin is 60% Fleek design studio software will charge a SaaS fee per month, and eventually per automated eyebrow design.Fleek consumable are tools, ink cartridges, and aftercare products for exclusive use on the Fleek machine.

We can expect an 80% margin on Fleek consumables.

Opportunity

Today over $1 billion per year is spent on permanent eyebrow application. The salons can expect an ROI of less than 6 months on the fleek machine.TeamWe have the most impressive, diverse, and hardworking team at this hackathon.Fleek is at the intersection of industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, AR/VR, frontend, backend, machine learning, robotics.

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