CES 2024: Hands-on with the at-home Nimble manicure robot


Previously, your manicure options were going to the salon and spending at least $20 (way more if you live in NYC), or trying to do it yourself at home.

Now there’s a third option that gets you the professional salon look, in the comfort of your home, without lifting a finger. At CES 2024, Nimble Beauty showed off its manicure robot that can paint and dry all ten fingers in about 25 minutes. After a few long days at CES, I jumped at the chance for a self-care moment.

Founder Omri Moran came up with the idea in 2016 after a first date was very late due to a botched manicure. The woman tried to fix it herself, then ultimately bailed and removed the whole manicure before rushing out the door. The woman’s story got Moran thinking that a manicure is a very different experience from what he expected. “I imagined it with friend, very relaxing,” said Moran. “Turns out for many people, it’s more like ongoing maintenance. And when they do it at home, it’s a chore.”

Woman putting her hand in the Nimble machine

For many, manicures are maintenance or a chore, which is why Moran came up with Nimble.
Credit: Nimble

When Moran looked into it, he found a huge market and potential demand. Nimble’s Kickstarter campaign initially launched with a $50,000 goal, but ended up raising $2 million. For anyone who gets their nails done, this is obvious, but: manicures are a big business. And by the way, the date ended up becoming Moran’s wife, he says.

Back at the booth, trying not to think of Paul Atreides and the Bene Gesserit test, I put my hand inside the 12-inch cube. Once my fingers were correctly and comfortably fitted in between the ridges that ensure proper placement, I pressed the start button on the top of the cube. The accompanying app told me that Nimble was now in the process of calibrating. Using machine vision, tiny cameras, and 3D image processing, Nimble scanned the size and shape of each nail for accurate painting.

Then it got to work. Nimble has developed an AI robotic arm that has the same tactility of human hand to precisely paint each nail.

Nimble app showing the calibration phase

The app showing the initial calibration phase which is when Nimble scans the size and shape of the nails.
Credit: Nimble

Nimble app showing the painting phase

The Nimble app was key to the user experience so I could know exactly what was happening inside the cube.
Credit: Nimble

It was a little weird feeling the cold, wet polish on my nails without being able to see it, and then the fan blowing air to dry it off. But the Dune comparison stopped as soon as the manicure started, since nothing scary or painful happened, and I was able to follow the process through the app. The app was a critical part of the experience, so I could know exactly what was happening. I only wish there was some kind of status bar on the machine. Otherwise, I was comfortable, especially since Nimble also comes with a little foam pillow to put under your wrist or forearm, allowing you to rest your arm while you wait.

Since there was high demand to test out Nimble, I was only able to get one nail painted. But within minutes, I got polish and a topcoat, and my nail was fully dry. The average manicure might take about 30 minutes, which includes soaking your hands, cuticle clean-up etc. But that doesn’t count drying, which Nimble does. In that sense, it might not replace the full salon experience. But if you’re like me and struggle with painting your dominant hand, and just want a convenient and clean paint job, Nimble is precise and on par with the pros.

With my single nail polished and dry, I was impressed with the results. The polish was almost perfectly painted on the nail and didn’t get on any of the cuticle or surrounding skin. This, Moran told me is also contingent on keeping your hand still, but Nimble’s AI algorithm means the robot arm is able to account for small movements and recalibrate accordingly.

For $599, Nimble doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re someone who regularly gets their nails done, this might pay for itself over time. Moran says they’re also planning new services and features like gel polish and pedicures. If that sounds like you, Nimble is available for pre-order and ships in March. Moran says widespread availability is expected this May.

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