A laundry-folding bot called ''Laundroid'' is unveiled at Japan's Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies and is said to recognize various articles of clothing and fold them accordingly. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Washing and folding clothes isn't many people's favorite job... But a new laundry-folding robot is taking on some of the workload. Visitors at Japan's Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies watched as "Laundroid" did its chores. Spokesperson for Seven Dreamers Laboratories, Guy Hayazaki, says it grants more free time to its owner: SOUNDBITE (English) PR OF SEVEN DREAMERS LABORATORIES, INC., GUY HAYAZAKI, SAYING: "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." Developers say the device uses image analysis and artificial intelligence to differentiate articles of clothing and folds them accordingly. It can also determine who the garment belongs to within a family. Pre-orders for the Laundroid will begin next year, and some visitors say it would be welcome in their homes: SOUNDBITE (Japanese) COMPANY WORKER AND VISITOR AT CEATEC, SHOMA TAKAHASHI, SAYING: "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." But there are still limitations with image analysis when it comes to identifying soft items and determining the ideal fold. That may take up more of the robot's time... but give the owner more time to shop for new clothes.