Innovation is a crucial aspect of promoting growth in any business and a fresh customer experience. Besides drawing the interest of customers, innovative ideas can also offer other benefits such as improved operational efficiency, greater productivity, and better-quality service. The Hairdresser Robotic Arm Assistant known as ‘Maurice 2.0’ by Joseph Dukes is a perfect example of keeping things fresh and innovative! In this article, we will take a deeper look at the Hairdresser Robotic Arm Assistant, Maurice 2.0, and cover how it has helped Joseph in his day-to-day work!
Introduction: Joseph Dukes
Joseph Dukes started cutting hair in Miami Beach, Florida for about 2 years. During his time in London, England, he also worked in Mayfair as a Colorist/stylist for 3 years. For 10 years, he had a business in the West Island of Montréal called “Joseph Dukes Salon and Spa” and for the past few years, he has been renting a hair station in a salon as an independent worker. Many of his clients have been with him for 15+ years and remain in contact with him as he keeps his same salon phone number: (514)-695-0574 at Joseph Dukes Independent Hairdresser and Colorist!
Project Inspiration for Maurice 2.0
In any business, finding ways to keep it fresh, innovative, and cool is very important. Even when Joseph had his salon, he always had something creative going on like a pulley aerial system for dogs to be free to walk around but still be contained to an area or a DIY 6-foot indoor continuous waterfall that drops into a tank with baby sharks. He also likes to work very efficiently by offering quick quality service, and clients know; Joseph works best when he’s busy and in a flow state. The addition of Maurice 2.0 as his Hairdresser Robotic Arm Assistant makes his workflow so much better!
All these projects are primarily for the excitement it creates with the clients; however, Joseph also loves the hair industry and feels that there haven’t been any major innovations in 20 years. His passion to build things, figure out problems, and working on big projects has led to the creation of Maurice 2.0!
“All other industries have machines to make their work easier like cooks or mechanics or dentists so why not us?” – Joseph Dukes
How Joseph Found Our Company
Joseph found out about Progressive Automations from watching our YouTube videos and was impressed that we could ship products with no minimum quantity order requirements while also offering technical support. Compared to some products he bought on Amazon that frequently brake; all the components he has bought from Progressive Automations haven’t failed yet. This has been a major benefit for Joseph as his number one concern is that the components don’t brake and require very low maintenance for years. As he plans to sell these machines in the future, reliability is key for all the components.
Two of the main actuators for Maurice 2.0 were the PA-14 Mini Linear Actuators rated for 50 lbs of force. Having this force rating resulted in a nice and steady speed which allowed Joseph to control Maurice 2.0 while no longer requiring any speed controllers. Our PA-07 Micro Actuator holds the blow dryer steadily and securely, even capable of holding the blow dryer in a 180° position and upside down.
“My experience with Progressive Automation has been great so far! From the technical advice, and the online tutorial, to the very easy-to-navigate website and amazing customer service, A+!” – Joseph Dukes
Capabilities of Maurice 2.0
The primary function of Maurice 2.0 is to hold a blow dryer at any height or angle that was required. Every client has different heights and hair types, so getting the exact position is key and Joseph adjusts the position with our joystick as he goes on with the blow dryer. It cuts drying time by half by allowing for the use of two blow dryers at the same time. Working with just one blow dryer feels primitive now!
The integration of our RC-08 Joystick created more buzz than some of the bigger renovations he has done in the past! The joystick makes it so much better in getting to the exact angle and height for where the blow dryer or bowl needs to be. Joseph can easily adjust without stopping to work or interrupting an ongoing conversation by looking for the right switch to press.
Usually, we apply colored dye by taking the product from a bowl that sits on a floor trolley and then repeating the same motion about 50 times to apply to the whole head. Positioning the coloring bowl exactly where Joseph wants it to be using Maurice 2.0 makes the application so much quicker and more efficient. Because of the 2 actuators (height and forward motion axial), Joseph can bring the bowl right next to the head, creating a much shorter distance to cover and cutting the time to apply by half.
Maurice 2.0 is also equipped with a powerful cool and warm light. Lighting greatly affects how clients see hair color so being able to adjust on the fly is very useful! It has a digital thermostat so when both blow dryers are on, Joseph can control the adjustments, so it doesn’t get too hot and uncomfortable for the client. Usually, when a woman takes a hair appointment, barbers will always ask how long the hair is to see how much time to book. With Maurice 2.0, all customers can book an appointment every 30 min regardless of the hair length, making the scheduling process much simpler and no chance to run behind anymore.
Patent and Future Planning
Joseph has started the patent process with the Canadian government website and plans to keep using Maurice 2.0 to see what fails. So far, the parts that broke are mostly switches or wires that weren’t routed correctly and would split with time. These issues have now been resolved by re-routing the wires and replacing the switches with more durable alternatives. The skeleton and bearings have all been holding up well so far without issues.
“I’m an idea person and my strength is figuring out problems with creative and sexy cool solutions. I also love hairdressing and don’t want to stop.” – Joseph Dukes.
Joseph is hoping that publishing this project will help him find a person or group that is interested in contributing to taking the idea of Maurice 2.0 everywhere! Some of the qualifications Joseph is currently looking for include:
- Someone or a group with a strong business sense and Experience in putting together a business and financial structure.
- Someone or a group with good technical knowledge in robotic, electrical, automation programming, and manufacturing process.
- Someone or a group that understands social media marketing.
He also plans to try cutting some of the costs down to make these types of machines a more affordable solution for hairdressers. Joseph keeps using Maurice 2.0 to see what works and what doesn’t. For example, he’s found that the autonomous function or speed control wasn’t very useful. Since the hairdresser chair turns, it’s better for the machine to dry one spot while he dries another. Maurice 2.0 also has 2 LCD displays and Joseph aims to figure out the required Arduino code for one to give time while the other LDC display may be used as a promotional display in the future.
Customer and Visitor Impression
The salon Joseph is renting at is part of a chain of 10 salons called Concept Elite. The owner is very intrigued and sees the potential in Maurice 2.0. She also saw the first month when Joseph was constantly fixing Maurice 2.0. or when he switched from pedals to rocker switches and spent 5 hours at the salon rewiring the machine! Once she sees that it doesn’t brake or have any issues for months, Joseph can see her being his first client.
“I want to make it so there’s a base model and additional payable options (like ordering a Tesla!). If the price makes sense, I can see salons ordering multiple units at once, even one per hair station. Clients love it and constantly take pictures of it to show to their friends.” – Joseph Dukes.
By improving speed, efficiency, and multi-tasking capabilities, Maurice 2.0 continues to bring customers top-quality hairdressing service as Joseph’s assistant! To keep up to date with Joseph Dukes, feel free to check out his TikTok and Instagram!
Thank you to Joseph for sharing your project! We hope Maurice 2.0 continues being your trusty hairdresser assistant for years to come!
If you have any queries about our electric linear actuators or wish to discuss our other products further, please do not hesitate in reaching out to us! We are experts in what we do and will be happy to assist in any way we can.
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