Laundroid: The £12,000 washing machine
Japanese laundry robot can fold and sort clothes 'by type or by owner' – and even respond to voice commands
Smart watches, phones and even fridges have been commonplace in the personal technology market for several years, but not washing machines. Spotting a gap in the market, the Japanese firm Seven Dreamers has developed a smart washing machine to add to the connected home. Such technology doesn't come cheap, however. The 'Laundroid', as it's known, costs 1.85m yen (£12,880).
The robot's appeal is that it can wash and iron clothes completely autonomously. All users need to do is drop their dirty clothes into the hatch at the front and Laundroid will start the cleaning process.
Seven Dreamers says Laundroid will be able to store clothes once they have been washed and ironed, preventing clean clothes from taking up room.
The robot "can handle 20 to 30 items, such as towels, T-shirts and other garments" in one load, says Nikkei Asian Review. It can also fold items "by type or by owner".
Users control Laundroid through the robot's companion app and the website says buyers can "visually sort folded clothes" using the device's touchscreen display.
The robot washing machine can also be controlled through voice commands, says Engadget, as Amazon's Alexa assistant will be available on the device at launch.
There's no word on how voice commands will be integrated, but the website says it's expected that "Seven Dreamers is working on further integration" with other smart technologies.
At 1.85m yen (£12,880), Engadget points out that the Laundroid is "ridiculously expensive” compared to normal washing machines.
Orders for the robot have opened in Japan, but the company has yet to announce whether it will sell Laundroid in Europe or the US.