Panasonic has invested $60m (£48m) into the Laundroid robot’s development, helping it speed up the process of sorting clean washing into neat piles.
Going head-to head with the FoldiMate robot and OpenAI’s rumoured domestic goddess robot developed alongside Fetch Robotics, Panasonic’s machine can fold a shirt in ten minutes and sort clothing into types, recognising what’s a pair of trousers and what’s a jumper, for example.
Laundroid has been developed by Japanese company Seven Dreamers and has been ten years in the making. It was first revealed a year ago and although its design hasn’t changed much, it has become a little more intelligent.
It works by dumping a pile of clothes in the bottom, and then will use image recognition software, machine learning and “advanced robotics” to sort the clothing into categories. Anything it finds is clean, it’ll fold nicely, ready for you to put away.
In the future, Seven Dreamers hopes the robot will also be connected to your wardrobe, spitting out clothes and placing them carefully in your drawers so you don’t have to lift a finger, saving you a mammoth 375 days over your lifetime.
The robot isn’t the sort of thing you’re likely to install in your pokey kitchen though, because it’s about the size of a fridge freezer. It won’t come cheap either. Although neither Panasonic nor Seven Dreamers have announced how much the Laundroid will cost, Panasonic’s input will only cover around 10% of the project, meaning the company will have to seek a whole lot more dosh if it’s ever to become a reality.
The latest version of Laundroid will be demoed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January next year.