Panasonic invests £49m in robot which folds clothes

widow-twankeyWhile the marketers look nervously over its shoulders, awaiting replacement by the robots, it seems they have something in common with Widow Twankey after all, following news that Panasonic has invested ten of millions of pounds in a robot which it is claimed will be able to fold up your laundry.
When Japanese start-up Seven Dreamers first unveiled the ‘Laundroid’ last month it was met with howls of derision, with some branding it “ridiculous”, “frivolous”, and even “a waste of engineering talent”.
But electronics giant Panasonic reckons Seven Dreamers is not just the stuff of dreams and has put its money where its mouth is by dishing up a $60m (£49m) investment in the project.
Reportedly set to launch some time next year, the price of the device is being kept firmly under wraps but Seven Dreamers insists that the Laundroid will be able to fold a shirt in ten minutes.
Coming in at about the same size as a wardrobe, the robot uses artificial intelligence and image recognition technology to fold and stack clothes.
And Seven Dreamers claims the device could create more time since the “average person” spends 9,000 hours, or 375 days, folding laundry in their lifetimes. It is not known how many hours Widow Twankey dedicates to the practice.
Panasonic told the BBC it was only funding 10% of the project, saying it was “providing the expertise” for an “all in one” device that can also wash and dry clothes.

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