The robot laundry-folding wars are heating up.
The German appliance manufacturing giant BSH is at the first phases of partnering with the U.S. and Israeli-based laundry-folding robot designer FoldiMate on product development and production in the most recent volley in the battle to bring a commercially workable laundry-folding robot to advertise.
As technology moves closer to a episode of the Jetsons (flying cars are already on the horizon), it’s only fitting that laundry-folding robots turn into the next step on the road.
FoldiMate took CES by storm last year using its first prototype for a laundry-folding robot, and the corporation will be back again this year to unveil its new apparatus and to talk more fully about what the partnership with BSH will demand.
“We have come a long way since then,” FoldiMate’s chief executive, Gal Rozov says of his business’s progress since that CES 2017 introduction. The business has over 200,000 followers waiting for the opportunity to pre-order the laundry-folding robotic apparatus and is looking forward to the unveiling of a new and improved FoldiMate.
These two spouses aren’t the only players at the laundry-folding robot game. Seven Dreamers is working with Panasonic about the laundroid — which aims to bring its own vision of a laundry-folding machine to the masses.
Backed by roughly $90 million in funds from funds affiliated with the Henry Kravis and George Roberts, two of the founders of the gargantuan private equity investment firm KKR, laundroid is clearly the superior funded apparatus — but the partnership with BSH will go a long way toward leveling the playing field.
There’s also a substantial cost difference between the two devices. FoldiMate was aiming to get a price point of about $850 as of last May, while laundroid is already retailing at $14,000 in Japan and has a targeted cost of $2,000.
For Rozov, FoldiMate is the culmination of a seven-year trip for the applications developer turned business founder.
The rationale behind FoldiMate is simple. Rozov loathed folding clothing… but nevertheless wanted to help out around the house.
FoldiMate has increased $3 million by undisclosed angel investors, but is relying upon the venture with BSH to take its business to the next level.
&ldquo ;We believe we’ve ever gotten to a point where the technology is mature enough and we’re satisfied enough with the results,” to begin bringing the product to market, states Rozov.
BSH will help with that process. “The perfect method to reduce risk with making this kind of endeavor with all of our challenging deadlines would be to have a spouse,” Rozov informs me. “So we have decided to go deeper into talks with BSH. ”
From the headquarters in Munich, BSH has been the 2nd largest appliance production on the planet (behind Whirlpool).
“We’ve got a major expertise in washing machines, dryers and garment care,” states Fridolin Weindl, head of crisis communication and global coordination for BSH Home Appliances Group. “FoldiMate has revealed quite innovative thinking and evolution of laundry folding solutions and this of course was interesting to us. ”
If everything goes well, Rozov explained that FoldiMate will look to go to market alongside BSH.
These apparatus are already a hit with consumers who hear them (all of my friends… and buddies’ parents… desire them), and move us further along the road to Rosey the Robot’s automated shredding services.
Here’re some teaser pictures for the new FoldiMate to tide you over til CES.
FoldiMate Clothes Outside
FoldiMate top drawer
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