Lowe’s Innovation Labs becomes the first to launch a commercial 3D printer to space

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2015-11-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the disruptive innovation hub of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., has partnered with aerospace company Made in Space, to become the first to launch a commercial 3D printer to space.  The printer, the first permanent additive manufacturing facility for the International Space Station (ISS), will bring tools and technology to astronauts in space. At the same time here on earth, Lowe’s is launching the next-generation Lowe’s Holoroom – an in-store and at-home virtual reality design tool that enables customers to envision the room of their dreams.

First Retailer in Space
The Lowe’s 3D printer is slated to arrive at the ISS in early 2016, making Lowe’s the first retailer to have a presence in space. From 200 miles above Earth, astronauts can use 3D printing technology to create a tool on-demand and produce parts they may not have onboard and immediately available. Customers are already using Lowe’s Innovation Labs’ 3D scanning and printing services to produce custom or hard-to-find replacement parts.

“Lowe’s and Made in Space share a vision of how 3D printing can revolutionize retail and home improvement, while also changing the way astronauts work in space,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “This is just the beginning of a broader partnership with Made in Space that will bring tools to space and new technology to Earth.”

“For the first time, astronauts can now manufacture what they need, when they need it in space,” said Jason Dunn, chief technology officer and co-founder of Made in Space. “We have successfully demonstrated the technology’s capabilities in space. And now with the launch of the permanent additive manufacturing facility to the ISS, we are enabling humanity to manufacture things off the planet.”

Next-Generation Holoroom
In 2014, Lowe’s Innovation Labs introduced its first proof of concept, the Lowe’s Holoroom. The augmented reality design experience was successfully tested in stores in the Torontoarea for six months and led to the next-generation Lowe’s Holoroom that will be installed in 19 stores across the United States beginning next month.

The Holoroom has evolved from a single platform augmented reality solution to a virtual reality design and visualization tool that leverages Oculus Rift optic technology in stores and Google Cardboard viewers that consumers can take home.

Lowe’s Innovation Labs and Google collaborated to create a shareable Holoroom experience that combines YouTube’s 360-degree video capabilities with Google Cardboard to enable customers to enjoy and share their virtual kitchen or bathroom design whenever and wherever they choose.

“The next-generation Holoroom continues to fulfill our long-term vision for how augmented and virtual reality technologies can help customers have more confidence and more fun with home improvement,” Nel said. “We can’t wait to see what our customers create as they bring their imagination to life with these new tools.”

Lowe’s created Lowe’s Innovation Labs in 2014 to develop disruptive technologies by bringing together uncommon partners with a commitment to get technology out of the lab and into the real world. In its first year, Lowe’s Innovation Labs collaborated with startups to introduce the first-generation Lowe’s Holoroom, the OSHbot autonomous retail service robot and in-store and online 3D scanning and printing.

Click here to access and download press kit, photos and video footage.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 16 million customers a week in the United States, Canada andMexico through its stores and online at Lowes.com, Lowes.ca and Lowes.com.mx. With fiscal year 2014 sales of $56.2 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,845 home improvement and hardware stores and 265,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com. For more information on Lowe’s Innovation Labs, visit LowesInnovationLabs.com.

About Made in Space
Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) was founded in 2010 as the world’s first space manufacturing company. MIS was contracted by NASA to design, build, and operate the 3D Printing In Zero-G Experiment (3D Print) on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014. 3D Print became the first machine to manufacture off-Earth. Controlled from a mission operations center at MIS HQ in the NASA Ames Research Park, the device allows for hardware to be digitally sent to space and printed out. By the end of 2015 the company will launch a new 3D printer, the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), to provide hardware manufacturing services to both NASA and the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the ISS. As the first commercially available manufacturing service in space, the AMF will put the capability of off-world manufacturing in the hands of space developers everywhere.

Contact

If you’re a journalist working on a story about Lowe’s:
704-758-2917
PublicRelations@lowes.com

SOURCE Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

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Lowe’s Innovation Labs becomes the first to launch a commercial 3D printer to space

Lowe’s Innovation Labs becomes the first to launch a commercial 3D printer to space

Lowe’s Innovation Labs introduces in-store and online 3D printing and scanning services

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2015-4-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the disruptive innovation hub of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., is introducing in-store and online 3D printing and scanning services to provide homeowners a simple, fun experience designing and producing hard-to-find replacement parts and unique decor items for personal expression throughout their home.

Beginning today at the Orchard Supply Hardware store in Mountain View, California, or online at Osh.com, customers can customize the color, shape and material of products, including light switch plates, address plates, door handles and cabinet knobs. For the first time in a retail setting, customers can also scan certain items, such as out of production antique home accents, to create 3D models for printing.

“The home is very personal and 3D printing gives homeowners unprecedented access to build items that reflect their individuality,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “Until now, it’s been hard for the average consumer to benefit from this technology because of the cost and complexity, so we are bringing customers an approachable and affordable customization experience.”

Lowe’s Innovation Labs developed this project in partnership with Authentise, which provides secure distribution tools for 3D printing and helps companies execute 3D innovation through its subsidiary Authentise Services. “Our partnership with Authentise enabled us to rapidly develop 3D solutions in a way that is core to home improvement and positions Lowe’s at the forefront of the digital manufacturing revolution,” Nel said.

Items can be printed in-store in plastic, or ordered in materials ranging from metal to ceramic for shipment direct to the customer. A dedicated 3D print and design specialist will assist customers in the store throughout the process and facilitate the pickup of printed items.

“3D printing and scanning are changing the way we produce, deliver and interact with objects,” said Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise. “We are delighted to have helped Lowe’s create a solution that makes these changes relevant to its customers, while building a scalable platform to support future demand.”

The partnership with Authentise is the second initiative developed as a result of Lowe’s Innovation Labs’ relationship with Singularity University and SU Labs, a program that connects corporate innovation teams with startups and other organizations to explore exponentially accelerating technologies and create new sustainable business solutions.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 16 million customers a week in the United States, Canada andMexico through its stores and online at Lowes.com, Lowes.ca and Lowes.com.mx. With fiscal year 2014 sales of $56.2 billion, Lowe’s has 1,840 home improvement and hardware stores and more than 265,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

About Orchard Supply Hardware
Orchard Supply Hardware operates neighborhood hardware and garden stores focused on paint, repair and the backyard. Based in San Jose, California, Orchard was originally founded as a purchasing cooperative in 1931. Today, it operates 75 stores in California and three stores in Oregon. The stores average approximately 36,000 square feet of interior selling space and 8,000 square feet of exterior nursery and garden space. For more information, visit http://osh.com.

About Authentise
Authentise, Inc. is a 3D Printing software and services company based in Mountain View, California. Authentise provides secure delivery tools for 3D printing, protecting both intellectual property and print quality for dozens of 3D printing marketplaces and content owners. Its subsidiary, Authentise Services, Inc., helps the world’s largest companies design and build tangible and groundbreaking 3D tools and experiences that bring the digital manufacturing revolution to the heart of their business.

About SU Labs
SU Labs, a division of Singularity University, is an open innovation campus where large organizations, startups and field impact partners come to use rapidly accelerating technologies to create new sustainable business solutions and tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Singularity University is headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley and offers education programs and innovative partnerships to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand and use technology to positively impact billions of people around the world.

Contact
If you’re a journalist working on a story about Lowe’s:704-758-2917 PublicRelations@lowes.com

For customer inquiries:1-800-445-6937

Lowe’s Innovation Labs introduces retail service robots to help customers shop

Lowe’s Innovation Labs introduces retail service robots to help customers shop smarter, navigate stores more efficiently, and instantly access information to confidently complete home improvement projects

MOORESVILLE, N.C, 2014-11-4— /EPR Retail News/ — This holiday season, Lowe’s Innovation Labs will introduce two autonomous retail service robots in an Orchard Supply Hardware store in midtown San Jose, California to study how robotics technology can benefit customers and employees.

Called OSHbot, the robots will assist customers to quickly navigate stores by directing them to specific products and providing real-time information about product promotions and inventory. In the coming months, OSHbot will also be able to communicate with customers in multiple languages and remotely connect with expert employees at other Orchard stores to answer specific project questions.

“Using science fiction prototyping, we explored solutions to improve customer experiences by helping customers quickly find the products and information they came in looking for,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “As a result we developed autonomous retail service robot technology to be an intuitive tool customers can use to ask for help, in their preferred language, and expect a consistent experience.”

For store employees, OSHbot will provide an additional layer of support by helping customers with simple questions, enabling more time for them to focus on delivering project expertise. Applications designed to support employees also include real-time inventory management and connecting with employees in other locations to share know-how and answer customer questions.

The OSHbot incorporates scanning technology first developed for the Lowe’s Holoroom home improvement simulator. For example, a customer may bring in a spare part and scan the object using OSHbot’s 3D sensing camera. After scanning and identifying the object, OSHbot will provide product information to the customer and help guide them to its location on store shelves.

The OSHbot was developed through a partnership between Lowe’s Innovation Labs and Fellow Robots, a Silicon Valley technology company specializing in the design and development of autonomous service robots. The partnership was initiated through SU Labs, a Singularity University program that connects corporate innovation teams with startups and other organizations to explore exponentially accelerating technologies and create new sustainable business solutions.

“The last decade was one of rapid technological advancement and prototyping, especially in robotics,” said Marco Mascorro, chief executive officer of Fellow Robots. “With OSHbot, we’ve worked closely with Lowe’s Innovation Labs to take autonomous retail service robot technology out of the sandbox and into the consumer market – enhancing the in-store consumer experience and creating smarter shoppers.”

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 15 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,835 home improvement and hardware stores and 260,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

About Orchard Supply Hardware
Orchard Supply Hardware operates neighborhood hardware and garden stores focused on paint, repair and the backyard. Based in San Jose, California, Orchard was originally founded as a purchasing cooperative in 1931. Today, it operates 71 stores in California and two stores in Oregon. The stores average approximately 36,000 square feet of interior selling space and 8,000 square feet of exterior nursery and garden space. For more information, visit http://osh.com.

About SU Labs
SU Labs, a division of Singularity University, is an open innovation campus where large organizations, startups and field impact partners come to use rapidly accelerating technologies to create new sustainable business solutions and tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Singularity University is headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley and offers education programs and innovative partnerships to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand and use technology to positively impact billions of people around the world.

About Fellow Robots
Fellow Robots, located in Silicon Valley, is at the forefront of reimagining retail using exponential technologies. Founded in 2012, Fellow Robots presented its first robot concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013. With a diverse team of experts experienced in robotics, software, design and manufacturing, Fellow Robots works closely with its partners to enhance the consumer retail experience through robotics.