Try as you might, it’s impossible to keep your trainers spotless, especially if they’re your favourite pair that you have to wear all the time. That is why Nike has created a robot that cleans and repairs sneakers, so customers can enjoy their beloved shoes for longer.
BILL, or the Bot Imitated Longevity Lab, as it is officially known, has been developed to help Nike fans extend the life of their shoes by polishing them and using recycled patches to repair any damage.
Noah Murphy Reinhertz, sustainability lead at Nike NXT, said: “The thing is, maintaining old product is deeply personal. People will go to great lengths to care for their favourite shoes.”
The robot-augmented system works by making a 3D digital model of the sneaker, as this provides detail about what areas need thorough cleaning or fixing.
Then it uses water-based cleaning products and rotating brushes to scrub the upper, sidewalls and outsole.
Customers can also choose patches that will be used to repair areas where there are signs of wear and tear. Liners and laces made from recycled materials will also be replaced.
BILL was first launched in London’s NikeTown, with the cleaning service, which takes just 45 minutes, being totally free to sneaker owners.
It is currently available for its most popular trainers - AirForce 1s, Air Jordan 1s, Space Hippie 01s, and Nike Dunks.
BILL is part of Nike’s ambition to create a “circular future where products are made with the intention of being reused, remade and discovered as something new”.
However, one new model Nike fans will want to get their hands on are the Nike Air Force 1 Mid x Off-White ‘Pine Green’, which is being released for AF-1’s 40th anniversary.