We have robots tackling complex surgical procedures and driverless cars roaming the streets in trial runs nowadays, but the technological innovation that’s exciting us most this week is the FoldiMate — a machine that can fold a load of laundry in less than four minutes (and no doubt much more neatly than we ever could). This time and sanity-saving machine helps us to enjoy our increasingly “Jetsons”-esque world by taking care of a task that many of us find dreary, if not downright annoying.
FoldiMate is a California-based startup that says it’s “committed to simplifying household chores affordably through technology, innovation, and robotics.” The company adds that its first product “will put an end to laundry folding in our homes as we know it.” Perhaps it’ll also put an end to squabbles about who folded the wash last time and the all-too-common complaint “why is it always my turn?”
The FoldiMate can fold everything from children’s clothes (ages six and up) to regular-sized towels and dad’s XXL shirts. The current model can’t handle baby clothes, but newer versions will hopefully be given that capability. What’s more, the machine learns as it goes, adapting its technique to your folding preferences and the typical items you need it to fold. It can also fold clothes to match the size of your closet or dresser drawers. Thank you, smart robotic technology.
It’s very easy to use the FoldiMate. Just clip on the articles of clothing you want it to fold and watch as the machine does its thing, depositing your neatly folded garments in a drawer below. This drawer can hold about 10 to 15 items, depending how thick they are, and when it’s full, all you have to do is lift out the stack to make room for more clothes. The ever-hungry FoldiMate keeps folding as long as you keep feeding it clothes.
The FoldiMate is still in the design stage, but the company is letting interested buyers register now so they can start putting in early orders. One thing is certain, though: you’ll have to be patient if you want to jump on the FoldiMate train, as units won’t be ready to ship until at least late 2019. The designers explain that the process of fine-tuning the machine has been delayed because “its complexity can be compared to the sophistication of an advanced robot, rather than that of a home appliance.”
Technology buffs were able to see the latest model of the FoldiMate in action at CES earlier this month, boasting a few new features that the team implemented based on tester feedback to make it faster and easier to use.
The designers also say they’ve changed the look of the FoldiMate to help it blend into any room in the average house. Personally, we can’t imagine this in the kitchen or living room, but who knows?
Of course, all of this saved time and energy does come at a price. The company is estimating a hefty retail price of $980, though it’s promising a discount on direct orders.