When a Japanese startup unveiled the world’s first robot that folds laundry some critics called it ‘ridiculous, frivolous, and a waste of engineering talent’. But electronics giant Panasonic thinks otherwise, and has invested $60m (£49m) in the project.Seven Dreamers has spent a decade working on the ‘Laundroid’.
The huge appliance uses a mix of robotics, artificial intelligence, and image recognition to fold your clothes and stack them onto shelves within.The contraption works like this: you toss your unsorted, hopefully-clean clothes into a pull-out drawer, and then wait for the machine to pick and spread each item out, figure out what is using its technology, and fold it accordingly.
Laundroid was developed by Japanese robotics company Seven Dreamers. There is still no price tag on the device, which is about the size of a wardrobe and uses artificial intelligence and image recognition technology to fold and stack clothes.However, Seven Dreamers said that the robot has the potential to revolutionize home life and it has a future in retail or the hotel industry, where folding vast amounts of garments is a crucial part of the business. Panasonic told the BBC it was only funding 10% of the project, saying it was “providing the expertise” for an “all in one” device that can also wash and dry clothes, slated for 2019.