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Sun May 12, 2019, 06:39 AM

The company behind the $16,000 AI-powered laundry-folding robot has filed for bankruptcy

https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/23/18512529/laundroid-laundry-folding-robot-seven-dreamers-bankrupt-ces

Seven Dreamers, the Japanese company behind the AI-powered laundry-folding robot Laundroid, has filed for bankruptcy. The company is now in the process of selling and transferring its business, it announced on its website today, which was spotted by Bloomberg editor Gearoid Reidy.



Backed by companies like Panasonic and Daiwa House, Laundroid had ambitious dreams to be the ultimate wardrobe organizer for the entire household. It had multiple cameras and robotic arms to scan a load of laundry, and used Wi-Fi to connect to a server that would analyze the clothing using AI to figure out the best way to fold it. A companion app was supposed to be able to track every piece of clothing that went through Laundroid, and categorize the clothes by household member. One load of laundry would take a couple hours to be folded, as each T-shirt took about five to ten minutes.

That’s how it was supposed to work in theory, anyway — when I tested it out at CES 2018 with my own T-shirt, the machine ate it up and Laundroid engineers had to work for about 15 minutes to pry it out. The explanation was that its cameras couldn’t recognize my black shirt, only the brightly colored demo shirts they’d prepared on hand.


I suspected something might be wrong when the company was conspicuously absent at this year’s CES. Meanwhile, rival laundry-folding robot company Foldimate was back for a second year, enjoying large crowds gathered around its prominent booth and giving nonstop demonstrations with a fully working prototype.

When I spoke to Seven Dreamers CEO Shin Sakane at CES 2018, he told me that he hoped to eventually bring the $16,000 product down to under $2,000. But according to credit research agency Teikoku Databank, the company racked up over $20 million in debt to 200 creditors while trying to get its product to market. It never actually shipped.

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Reply The company behind the $16,000 AI-powered laundry-folding robot has filed for bankruptcy (Original post)
Demovictory9 May 12 OP
True Blue American May 12 #1
Amishman May 12 #2
True Blue American May 12 #4
LuvLoogie May 12 #3
True Blue American May 12 #5
MineralMan May 12 #6
JCMach1 May 12 #7

Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2019, 07:05 AM

1. Rachel Ray had them on just last week. Great device, but I imagine

Last edited Sun May 12, 2019, 05:08 PM - Edit history (1)

Anyone who could afford that machine would have their Laundry sent out, or done by a Maid.

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Response to True Blue American (Reply #1)

Sun May 12, 2019, 09:40 AM

2. Think of it as a prototype

Someone will continue or revisit this. It's just a matter if making it work faster, take up less space, and be cheaper. It's a good idea and will absolutely sell once refined.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #2)

Sun May 12, 2019, 09:52 AM

4. Retail already has one!

A cardboard square. The clek can fold shirts perfectly with that.


Just joking here, it still requires manual labor.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2019, 09:51 AM

3. In the entire laundry process, folding is just one part.

Do these machines know the dimensions of your dresser drawers? Who gets to put away the clothes? Is there a machine that will put your shirts and pants on hangers?

If you have a family, at some point, everyone does their own laundry. Hell, tell the kids, "See that basket I just brought from the dryer? You know what to do."

There is a happy medium between beating your clothes on the rocks by the river and a Jetsons /Elon Musk acid trip.

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Response to LuvLoogie (Reply #3)

Sun May 12, 2019, 09:55 AM

5. It just folded

Shirts, then stacked them. Person takes them out.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2019, 09:59 AM

6. "A couple of hours" to fold one load of laundry? Really.

I'm the laundry maid in our house. Once a load of clothes comes out of the dryer and I carry it upstairs, I have everything folded or hung and put away where it belongs in less than ten minutes. I don't need a machine that takes two hours to do that. Silliness!

In fact, I'm doing three loads of laundry today. Everything will be done and put in its proper places by noon. Meanwhile, I'm posting on DU.

Two hours my red butt!

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2019, 10:00 AM

7. Does anyone actually fold clothes?

I hang everything but socks and undergarments

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