ABB robots bring festive cheer to New York City

Few festive displays compare to Bloomingdale’s in New York City. Every year, the retailer aims to engage shoppers with elaborate themes and interactive elements. This year, 12 ABB robots adorn their world-famous windows, showcasing the potential for robotics and automation technology to revolutionize visual merchandising and make the retail experience more dynamic.

ABB’s robots are known for their cutting-edge technology and remarkable ability to work side by side with humans in industrial environments. But they can do a lot more. In New York City, ABB robots are now welcoming shoppers to one of the city’s most iconic stores, Bloomingdale’s, and making Christmas shopping more entertaining and fun.

Four of ABB’s six-axis IRB 120 robot are now working together to decorate the branches of a Christmas tree with 20 delicate gold ornaments. In another window, four IRB 1200, play brass shakers, a tambourine, a concert chime and a futuristic digital xylophone, while shoppers outside on the street can select from a trio of Christmas tunes to join in some karaoke fun, reading the lyrics off three moving 38’’ graphical RoboScreens®, attached to the arms of four IRB 120 robots. 

Inside Bloomingdales, a dual-arm YuMi® collaborative robot demonstrates the latest Nespresso equipment as it serves customers a choice of coffee. Designed to work safely alongside humans, customers can interact directly with the YuMi® to create a unique merchandising experience for Nespresso by allowing customers to see their new product in action.  With its precision and mobility, YuMi® automates the entire brewing process, from handling and loading the selected drink pod, to serving the hot beverage and disposing of the used capsule for recycling.

ABB robots in the Bloomingdale’s display windows on Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue in New York.

“We are really excited to be part of such an iconic celebration as shoppers in New York kick off the holiday season. As well as bringing some festive cheer to Bloomingdales’ customers, we are showcasing how robotics and automation technology could help revitalize the retail experience,” said Marc Segura, ABB’s Global Head of Service Robotics. “Our demonstrations in Bloomingdales show how robotics can make visual merchandising more dynamic and engaging. In the future, retailers could use robotics to create innovative mediums to interact with customers, demonstrate products and engage at the point-of-sale with far more appeal and relevance than traditional static point-of-sale displays.”  

All of the Bloomingdales robots are being monitored 24 hours a day by the ABB team from their US Robotics headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan using ABB Ability™ Connected Services technology. This sophisticated system remotely monitors and analyzes intelligence directly from the robots, allowing ABB technicians to identify and address potential issues that could lead to an unplanned stoppage before it occurs. 


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