- Title: Laundry-folding robot takes on time-consuming chore
- Date: 6th October 2016
- Summary: MAKUHARI, JAPAN (OCTOBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) WOMAN PLACING UNFOLDED LAUNDRY INTO BOTTOM DRAWER OF LAUNDRY-FOLDING CLOSET, 'LAUNDROID' LAUNDROID CLOSING SHELF UNIT WOMAN PLACING UNFOLDED LAUNDRY INTO BOTTOM DRAWER OF LAUNDROID
- Embargoed: 21st October 2016 16:09
- Keywords: Laundroid laundry-folding laundry CEATEC Japan Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies robot bot clothing
- Location: MAKUHARI, JAPAN AND NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: MAKUHARI, JAPAN AND NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: Various
- Topics: Information Technologies / Computer Sciences,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA00152VARFF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The world's first laundry-folding robot, or closet, called "Laundroid" has been unveiled by Seven Dreamers Laboratories, Inc. at Japan's Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC).
Crowds gathered around the stage to watch an exhibitor dump unfolded clothing into Laundroid's bottom drawer and then open the top shelf unit minutes later to show a neatly-folded garment.
Laundroid uses image analysis and artificial intelligence to differentiate articles of clothing, such as t-shirt from trousers, and folds the garment accordingly. It can also determine who the garment belongs to within a family.
Company spokesperson Guy Hayazaki said the innovation was meant to save busy people time.
"Time taking for laundry-folding is about 9000 hours (in a lifetime,) that is about 375 days in total. So, the people with Laundroid, you will have more spare time of 375 days. So that is like practically one year. So you have one more year with your family, or you could go on a date with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spend more time with your kids, yes, or have a new hobby or something like that," Hayazaki told Reuters.
However, there are still limitations with image analysis when it comes to identifying soft items. It took the Laundroid approximately ten minutes to pick out a garment, determine its category, and fold it.
Shoma Takahashi, who was watching the demonstration, said his wife would appreciate the innovation.
"My wife really hates folding the laundry, and she usually hangs them on a hanger. So there is nothing better than (a closet) that can fold your clothes neatly," Takahashi said.
But some said they preferred a more compact closet, perhaps attached to a washing machine.
Pre-orders for the Laundroid will begin in March next year, and sold within Japan only.
CEATEC is the biggest IT-electronic fair in Japan and is the place for major electronic companies to show off their cutting edge technology. High-tech gadgets are showcased by more than 600 companies and organizations. The exhibition is held from October 4 to 7.
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