Friday, 3 December 2021

Laundry-folding machine actually works now

LONDON: Would you pay $1,000 to outsource your most hated chore to a giant robot? That’s the question FoldiMate, the company behind the laundry-folding robot of the same name, once again asks us to consider.

The company, which we last year dubbed our favorite bad idea of CES, is back with a new demo of the laundry-folding machine, which it says might actually be available by the end of the year.

Back in 2018,  was one of two laundry-folding machines exhibiting at CES that promised to make folding clothes a thing of the past. It was up against Laundroid, a $16,000 AI-powered machine that was supposed to analyze each clothing item and figure out the best way to fold it using AI. Neither machine worked at the time- Foldimate’s model was a non-working prototype, and I accidentally broke the Laundroid when I confused the machine’s AI with a black T-shirt. This year, Foldimate is the sole laundry-folding machine at CES, returning for the third time with a fully working prototype.

I clipped in my Verge T-shirt to the machine, which pulled in the shirt and produced a neatly folded shirt in about five seconds. Foldimate says that you can fold an entire load of laundry in about five minutes, which includes collared shirts, pants, and medium-sized towels. It won’t be able to fold smaller clothes like baby items or oversized bed linens, but still, it’s a start. If I’ve learned anything from Marie Kondo, it’s that folding my laundry is the first step to fixing my (imaginary) dysfunctional marriage.

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