This week at CES, Japanese company Seven Dreamers demoed its laundry-folding robot, Laudroid. The machine was set up in a mock living room and is about the size of a very tall dresser.
Clothing dropped in the bottom drawer is picked up by two robotic arms and unfolded so that software can recognize the garment From there, artificial intelligence takes over.
"For this t-shirt, visual analysis technology and AI has to measure the length and width of the shirt to determine where to fold, which direction to fold, and see where the collar position is and to see if it's a front and back," says Seven Dreamers CEO Shin Sakane. "And then once it measures everything, it could fold nicely."
Laundroid can organize clothing either by family member or type. It's also WiFi connected and comes with an app that tracks everything the machine folds, creating a type of virtual closet. The process is still very slow. It takes about five hours for Laundroid to fold a full load and it doesn't work with socks.
Preorders for Laundroid start this fall. The robot will be initially available in Japan, the U.S. and parts of China for $16,000.