FoldiMate looks sort of like a large printer, only to get started you clip separate laundry pieces into a rotating rack. Once inside, robotic arms mechanically fold the item before unloading the magically folded piece on a tray. The innards can also apply pre-set treatments to steam out wrinkles or make a shirt just smell better.
"Anyone in your family can do it," the company says. "Finish a laundry load two times faster than manually folding." The bot is designed to fit on top of a washer, dryer or table. FoldiMate will also be internet-enabled, meaning users can select from different folding methods on the company's online store.
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When the machine is available for pre-order next year, the cost is expected to be in the $700 to $850 range. Adding steam functionality will costs another $200 to $300. The company site says the first units should ship by 2018.
The only things the robotic machine won't be able to handle: Really large items like linens or super-small ones like underwear and socks. You're still on the hook for those.
Apparently a lot of people really, really don't want to fold their own laundry because the FoldiMate site had well over 50,000 registered users at last count.
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Back when I lived in Manhattan, the tiny local laundromat cleaned and folded all my stuff for a ridiculously low price. I still don't know how they got those fitted sheets folded so neatly and with such sharp corners. Maybe that will be a feature in FoldiMate 2.0.
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