The robots that help you shop online

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  • Shape-shifting robots allow online shoppers to virtually try on garments before purchasing them online

    Online shopping can sometimes be more hassle than it’s worth – but now, a robotic mannequin designed to imitate your shape could take all the pain away.

    Online retailers have a high returns rate, mostly due to ill-ftting clothes, but the FitBot allows shoppers to virtually try on garments before buying them by mimicking a set of measurements entered by the shopper online.

    The robot mannequins, made by an Estonian company, are set to launch at British shirt maker Hawkes and Curtis, and promise to take the guesswork out of online shopping.

    ‘Our female FitBot mannequin can adjust to just about any female body type,’ says Heikki Haldre, the boss of Virtual Fitting Room. ‘It can go slim and then curvy, and for men very muscular.’

    Composed of flexible panels, FitBots can shift between thousands of different shapes and sizes, from small to extra large.

    Customers shopping at a participating site enter their measurements online, before seeing photos of a real life mannequin shaped just like them ‘trying on’ their selections.

    Although the machines have been available for men since 2010, says that women’s curves, lumps and bumps meant the female FitBot took longer to perfect than the male model.

    Antony Comyns, head of ecommerce at Hawes & Curtis, said the company was ‘thrilled’ to launch the ‘valuable service’ for their female customers.

    ‘We believe providing this service to online customers is a requirement for any quality fashion retailer,’ he said.


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