The robot laundry-folding wars are heating up.
The German appliance manufacturing giant BSH is in the early stages of partnering with the U.S. and Israeli-based laundry-folding robot designer FoldiMate on product growth and manufacturing in the most recent volley in the battle to bring a commercially viable laundry-folding robot to market.
As technology moves inexorably closer to an episode of the Jetsons( flying autoes are already on the horizon ), it’s only fitting that laundry-folding robots become the next step on the path.
FoldiMate took CES by cyclone last year with its early prototype for a laundry-folding robot, and the company will be back again this year to unveil its new device and to speak more fully about what the partnership with BSH will entail.
“We have come a long way since then, ” FoldiMate’s chief executive, Gal Rozov says of his company’s progression since that CES 2017 debut. The company has more than 200,000 followers waiting for the opportunity to pre-order the laundry-folding robotic device and is looking forward to the unveiling of a new and improved FoldiMate.
These two partners aren’t the only players in the laundry-folding robot game. Seven Dreamers is working with Panasonic on the laundroid — which aims to bring its own vision of a laundry-folding machine to the masses.
Backed by roughly $90 million in capital from monies affiliated with the Henry Kravis and George Roberts, two of the founders of the gargantuan private equity investment firm KKR, laundroid is clearly the better funded device — but the partnership with BSH will go a long way toward leveling the playing field.
There’s also a significant price difference between the two devices. FoldiMate was aiming for a price point of around $850 as of last May, while laundroid is already retailing at $14,000 in Japan and has a targeted cost of $2,000.