Would you spend $800 on a laundry-folding robot?

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,200   +120
Staff member

Among household chores, doing laundry is my least favorite. I don’t mind loading clothes into the washer then transferring them to the dryer; it’s the folding that irks me. If you’re in the same boat I am, a California-based startup by the name of FoldiMate may have the solution you’ve been yearning for.

FoldiMate has developed a robotic clothes-folding machine that promises to fold shirts, pants and towels twice as fast as a human. The device can even de-wrinkle clothing using steam and infuse them with scents or fabric softeners but there’s a good bit of manual interaction required as well.

Users will have to clip each garment to the machine manually. What’s more, it won’t be able to handle oversized items like bed sheets or smaller articles such as underwear and socks. Once complete, the machine dispenses folded clothing into a tray that can accommodate up to 30 items depending on fabric thickness.

Folding laundry seems like a simple (albeit mundane) task but as The Wall Street Journal points out, it’s quite complicated seeing as it requires both dexterity and problem- solving (matching socks, turning garments inside-out and so on).

The company plans to begin accepting pre-orders next year with a target price between $700 and $800. That’s no small chunk of change but for those that absolutely hate laundry and see this as a long-term investment, it may be worth it. More than 62,000 people have already registered to be notified when pre-orders begin meaning at the very least, there's some interest.

I might be a player if priced a bit lower but given its limitations and the amount of manual labor that still needs to be done to make it work, I’ll sit this one out.

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tonylukac

Posts: 1,378   +72
I don't mind folding my laundry. If you're timely and angry, it relieves your anger to put things in order better than doing time, which doesn't. When I worked for the man and wore dress shirts, I needed them to be ironed, not folded. That's what I'd like. A robot iron. Appearance in an office setting is more important that like guys who have spaces between their teeth on television, working in hollywood itself.
 
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davislane1

Great concept but this machine is going to eat so many shirts it'll make your head spin.
 

MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,211   +1,455
If you have to hang the clothes on the little hooks - is it really a robot? I think it's just a folding machine. A robot would have some smarts to it... I'd be able to dump a whole pile of laundry out and it would be able to make everything right-side in and folded without my help.

Is my Keurig a coffee making robot?
 

GhostRyder

Posts: 2,151   +588
Yea, this would be cooler in my book if it was a little more automated than it is. Like stated above if you could just dump laundry into the machine it would be pretty cool to see it comes out folded especially if it could at least handle smaller articles of clothing. Right now, I can see this being beneficial to someone who has to fold hundreds of shirts and pants a day (Like a department store) but for a home user its kinda a niche product.
 

IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
Would you spend $800 on a laundry-folding robot?
Still cheaper than a wife :)
True but I doubt you'd want to make love to this machine...

Seriously though this is a cool idea but I don't think it will catch on. If you could just dump clothes into it, and it would sort out different garments and fold them.... then maybe. But there is already a couple minutes of time spent hanging each item on the clips for this thing when I could already be over half way done folding them myself. Not particularly revolutionary if you ask me because it isn't really going to change our lives much or even really save that much time.