Really? Really?! Am I so lazy that I'm willing to spend $800 on a machine that will fold my laundry? Pssshhh! I don't think so.
But the FoldiMate robot will also steam to de-wrinkle and then perfume, soften, and sanitize my T-shirts and chinos as it folds them, so...yeah...I'm in. I can see how families and people who, like, sweat and spill stuff on themselves a lot would be too. Laundry piles up fast in a lot of households, and if it's cool to have machines wash and dry it, why not add one that folds it too?
The FoldiMate looks like an upright conveyor belt. Its series of horizontal slats each has a pair of clothespins for clipping on a single piece of clothing, which the belt feeds into the belly of the machine for folding. Depending on article size and selected folding speed, the FoldiMate has a 15- to 20-item input capacity per feed. Once inside, robotic arms take care of the creasing and pressing, while moving, car wash-style nozzles emit the steam and any other primping mists you select.
Fold time is around 10 seconds per item (plus 5 seconds to clip it on) and steam time 20 to 30 seconds. FoldiMate points out that some people might be able to fold an article themselves faster than this, but the point of the machine is to remove some of the burden, as well as turn out clothes that are "expertly folded every time." Like using a dishwasher instead of washing your dishes by hand.
FoldiMate can help you out with most laundered items, including shirts, pants, and towels. It won't be able to handle larger items, such as linens, or smaller ones, such as underwear and socks.
While it has matured beyond a concept, the Foldimate automatic, robotic clothes and laundry folding machine is still in its early stages of development. At printing, the company was accepting email addresses from those jonesing to eliminate some admin* from their lives. They'll be in touch when Foldimate pre-orders are available, probably in 2017. The chore-bot is expected to run between $700 and $850. Incorporating the steam option will be another $300 to $300. Scent, softening, and sanitation capabilities will come from pods running $15 to $40 each.
Like the smell of what FoldiMate's cookin', but not how much they're going to charge you to eat it? If you're willing to stay on as head chef, hire the MiracleFold as your sous. It serves up the same fine folding presentation at a fraction of the cost.
*My word for the tedious, unpleasant administrative tasks of life.