Remembering Laundroid and other robotics companies that died in 2019

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Laudroid should have taken the self driving car guys approach. Instead of being able to do the job - just lower the standards and change the conditions. Change the roads & change people’s bodies to conform to your business model.


I saw that laundry folding robot demo at CES a few years ago.

When you hear that you probably think “I dump my load in the top and it comes out all nicely pressed and folded for me”. But the reality was that you had to lay out each shirt individually one at a time and line it up properly with the mechanism before you pressed the button. In other words it saved no time and very little effort compared to folding your shirt yourself. And the demo didn’t even work properly when I saw it, the presenters were clearly just pulling out a pre-folded stack of laundry from the bottom without actually running the robot.

They didn’t even have a price point when I saw the demo, but anything would have been too much. It was a straight up waste of space.


Dealing with fabric is one of those difficult problems for robotics. Automation only gets you so far before you have to bring in some human assistance.


I mean … t-shirts are freaking weird, man. You go into one hole and come out of three!


Peter Singer? Peter Singer the bioethecist? Correct me if I’m wrong but the link seems to say that the author who wrote that quote and the article is Steve Crowe, I can’t find Singer in a search on that page.

Minor issue, I suppose? I was curious what a bioethecist would have to say about failed robot companies though, so mildly disappointed I guess X-D


Assume a perfectly cylindrical human…

Personally I think this failure is an argument for general purpose human-like robots. The laundry folding capability may get it 50% of the way towards being able to perform other functions. Maybe a $30k household robot would sell.

I organise my clothes by rolling them into a tube shape. I think I got the tip from here on BoingBoing at some point. Would it be easier or more difficult to invent a make-clothes-into-sausages robot?

As a piece of technology I’d say it could be deployed profitably in a hotel or something. Getting your hotel to do your laundry is ridiculously expensive in some places. And in a Co2 reducing future we should all travel as light as possible.

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My washing machine does that right now.

Huh. That’s interesting. Mine does a really efficient job of turn them into rags more suited to cleaning the car with.

(we have another on order)

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That Peter Singer’s a smart fella!

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