The FoldiMate is an automated laundry folding machine. The FoldiMate is an automated laundry folding machine. The FoldiMate is an automated laundry folding machine. (Photo: FoldiMate)

A robot that folds your laundry? We'll take 7

Now's the time to start thinking about what you'll do with all those free hours.

In the ever-growing quest to use technology to simplify household chores, one Silicon Valley startup has promised what we all thought was heretofore impossible: a robot that folds your laundry for you.

It's called FoldiMate, and you might call it the Roomba of laundry: it's an automated system that reduces the time and stress involved in folding clothes. It was produced by tech entrepreneur Gal Rozov from the seaside Israeli town of Netanya. And though it's been available for commercial use since 2014, Rozov and his team of developers have been working on a household version that's slated for release in 2018.

In addition to folding capabilities, the FoldiMate also claims it can steam, sanitize, soften and perfume your laundry in minutes. All you have to do is clip your clothes onto the top of the machine, and watch it do its magic.

And since it's a robot, its makers say it's got folding down to a science. "FoldiMate is a robotic clothes and laundry folding machine; the only way it knows to fold is like an expert," FoldiMate's developers state on its website. "Every time."

It's expected to sell for between $750 and $800, slightly more than the price of an average washing machine. But even that, and the fact that the product won't be available for at least two more years, hasn't stopped tens of thousands of people from reserving one. That means they've paid the $85 down payment and will receive 10% off the estimated price in 2017, when pre-ordering begins.

So what will you do with all that extra time? We at From the Grapevine have a few ideas:


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