Laundroid: Your Tenant’s Smart Closet

Disrupting property doesn’t just mean large-scale building projects, sometimes it means infusing smart technology with a day-to-day utility. That is the concept behind Laundroid, a closet robot by the Japanese company Seven Dreamers.

Laundroid folds and sorts your clean laundry. It looks like a closet itself, with a big black screen in the front and sides that look like polished wood paneling. For $16,000, it will sort and fold your laundry with the power of AI.

According to the Verge, which did a demo with the bot at the major global tech convention CES, the machine does not appear to be foolproof. A dark colored t-shirt was used for the demo, but the recognition software had trouble finding the back and front of this garment. Eventually, it had to be removed by hand.

However, the ambitious concept has attracted $90 million in investment capital and was jointly developed by Panasonic and Daiwa House, which is Japan’s largest home building company.

How it Works

Laundroid has a neural network hooked up to WiFi, and containing 256,000 images of clothing. This is what it uses to determine the front and back of the t-shirt when folding it. It has robotic arms, and programs to determine the best way to fold the clothing. Each t-shirt takes 5-10 minutes to fold, meaning a load can take over an hour to finish.

Laundroid is joined in the smart appliance space by Foldimate. Neither robot has nailed the convenience dimension of its mission; you have to clip each shirt onto Foldimate’s system automatically. Foldimate does offer a $980 price tag, however.

If investments and the trend towards Alexa-style smart homes persists, appliances like these will be a development to watch going forward.