This story now
IN Science & Technology ON 13 Jun, 2016
Move over gadgets like dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and dryers. They're all passé!
After all, what good can be the best washers or dryers if you don't have the time to fold up the washed laundry and it piles up into a heap waiting to be taken care of on the weekend?
A mother who has teenaged kids who will throw away half a dozen t-shirts before rushing to the college every morning or a narcissist husband who can't decide upon the best white shirt to go under that tux might as well relate to that too!
Folding the clothes and putting them back again after ironing them can indeed be one of the most thankless jobs a homemaker takes care of! Folding the laundry day after day is time sucking and irksome, as anyone who does go through it repeatedly will agree. More so if one is REALLY hard pressed for time and would rather put those 15 minutes a day on something more productive…
But while scientists came up with robots who'd take care of car manufacturers' needs and thought of replacing waiters in restaurants, there weren't many among their community who thought women needed more than food processors, dishwashers and washing machines. Phew!
That is till a San Fransisco based startup came up with FoldiMate, a 28" x 32" x 31" gadget which will get into action after the clothes have been run through a washing machine and a dryer. Almost the size of a regular washer or dryer, this machine can de-wrinkle and fold the clothes for you while sitting pretty on top of/ next to your washer or dryer in the laundry room.
In a video posted on to the company's website, the gadget is seen as having a bunch of clips in front of it. Clothes hung on to these clips are taken in by robotic hands one at a time.
After being folded to a default size of 9" X 11" (adjustable), the garments are then steamed to minimize wrinkles, while also giving the users the option to add softening and sanitizing treatments. The clothes then get into a neat pile on a folding tray. Each item takes 10 seconds to fold (adding processes like softening, perfuming, etc can push the processing time per garment to up to 45 seconds). All the folded and steamed garments are then collected neatly on a slide out tray which can handle 10-30 items at a time, depending upon the thickness of items.
The gadget can fold most types of clothes like towels, shirts and pants but cannot handle very big sheets or very small items like innerwear and socks.
The interesting thing here is that you might not like the way your clothes have been folded! What about that? Well, the gadget makers took care of that too. While the machine has been programmed to do the 'standard fold,' users can purchase additional folding styles through their online store.
That might sound very innovative but it certainly isn't the first ever clothes folding robot to appear on the scene. FoldiMate has had cruder predecessors like Laundroid and a wood-cardboard device by YouTuber msjahloo earlier. This one however deserves a pat on the back for being the best designed attempt at making one of the most repetitive tasks easier.
The tentative selling price for now, as per the FoldiMate website, is $700-$850. Preorders will begin next year and shipments have been scheduled for 2018.
One of the most de-pressing tasks made simpler- only if it could get more affordable! SIGH!!