Say hello to LaundryBot. Excerpt:
Hate doing laundry? Shin Sakane has a solution.
The Japanese inventor received 6 billion yen ($53 million) from partners, including Panasonic Corp., last month to advance “the Laundroid” — a robot Sakane is developing to not only wash and dry garments, but also sort, fold and neatly arrange them. The refrigerator-size device could eventually fill the roles of washing machine, dryer and clothes drawer in people’s homes.
Sakane, whose earlier inventions include an anti-snoring device and golf clubs made of space materials, said the funding will bring closer his dream of liberating humanity from laundry. Among his inspirations for the project is the 1968 Stanley Kubrick sci-fi classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Laundroid was designed to resemble the mysterious objects in the film that brought technology to prehistoric humans, and the project was originally code-named “Monolith.”
“That’s what we had in-mind: a technology that never existed on Earth descends from space,” the 45-year-old Sakane, head of Seven Dreamers Laboratories Inc., said in an interview at his Tokyo office. “If we could automate this, the act of doing laundry will be gone for good.”
They’re talking roughly $2,700 for the first iteration of the LaundryBot. I have a funny feeling they’ll get plenty of takers even at that price; hell, a decent quality washer/dryer can cost you half that anyway. Why not spring the the whole works? Toss your laundry in just before leaving for work in the morning, come home to your laundry washed, dried, folded and ready to put away.
Now, if only someone could make a ToastBot.