Helping New York celebrate the season, 12 ABB robots are interacting with visitors to Bloomingdale’s holiday celebration at their 59th Street flagship store. ABB’s robots are the main attraction in three of Bloomingdale’s 12 holiday window displays on Lexington and Third Avenues. The robotics company demonstrates the potential for its robotics and automation technology to revolutionize visual merchandising and make the retail experience more dynamic and whimsical.

ABB and long-time creative partner andyRobot® have harnessed the excitement of human-robot interaction at Bloomingdale’s to engage shoppers through a unique visual experience and to explore how robotics technologies could be applied in a retail environment.

In one window, four ABB robots work together to create an Autonomous Christmas Tree Decorating display. Two floor-mounted and two ceiling-mounted IRB 120 robots coordinate their movements to pass 20 gold ornaments to each other, placing them on the branches, before stripping the tree and starting the 30-minute process again.

An Orchestra of four ABB IRB 1200 robots play brass shakers, a tambourine, a concert chime and a futuristic digital xylophone to entertain shoppers with a range of Christmas carols. Visitors to Bloomingdales can interact with the robot performers from the street and choose from three holiday classics: "Deck the Halls," "Jingle Bells" and "We wish you a Merry Christmas," while pressing a button on the window takes a picture of the visitors which appears on a video monitor behind the robot band inside the window display.

The third display is a RoboScreen® Christmas Carol Karaoke window. Shoppers can select from a range of holiday songs, with the lyrics appearing on three moving 38” graphical screens attached to the arms of three IRB 120 robots.

RoboScreens, patented by robot animator andyRobot, bring highly coordinated six-axis motion to video displays.  Assembling in various formations, when together RoboScreens can display one large cohesive video or image, and when apart they can display individual, synchronized images that virtually jump from screen to screen. This creates a highly engaging and dynamic viewer experience which, in this case, inspires window shoppers on the street to participate in the festive singalong.

Inside Bloomingdales, ABB’s dual-arm collaborative YuMi® robot demonstrates the latest Nespresso coffee experience serving shoppers a choice of coffee. Designed to work safely alongside humans, customers can interact directly with 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.