FoldiMate, an American-based company, has unveiled a three-foot-high robotic laundry folder for the domestic market. The company’s FoldiMate machine uses a patented robotic method to fold shirts and trousers.
However, the machine is unable to fold certain items, including small items such as underwear and large items such as linen.
The FoldiMate, which is expected to cost between $700 and $850 (£490-£600), is designed to sit on top of an existing washer, dryer or a sturdy table in the laundry room. There is also a wheeled table so the folder can be moved.
Once clothes are dry, they are clipped into FoldiMate’s patented Easy Clipping loading system. The FoldiMate senses the type of garment and a series of robot arms are used to fold it into place. It can also de-wrinkle items by steaming them as they exit the machine.
The start-up company, based in Sunnyvale, California, says it takes around 10 seconds to fold each item and can hold between 15 and 20 pieces of clothing at a time. At the end of the process, they are released from the machine in a neat pile.
FoldiMate is currently accepting pre-orders on its website for a household version set to be released next year.
A Japanese manufacturer, Seven Dreamers Laboratories, unveiled its Laundroid, an automated laundry-folding robot, in October last year and looks to have a viable model for the consumer market in 2017.