Long before in-home robotics were anything but the filler material of science fiction, the KISS mantra helped product developers stick to the basics of design and implementation. However, other than a few standouts, it's proven hard, so far, for the growing spate of in-home automated personal assistants to keep anything simple.
FoldiMate wants to change that.
ZDNet reported on the in-home laundry assistant that could spark a conceptual change in how developers can ease homeowners into a new age of robot-assisted chores around the house. Not much more than an automatic clothes-folding machine, FoldiMate works by feeding clipped-on items of clothing (except socks and underwear) into an internal chamber, where the clothes are manipulated in under 10 seconds into the perfect fold. Steam and sanitization sprays also de-wrinkle and aromatize the clothes, resulting in a fresh-from-the-dryer smell.
FoldiMate won't be taking pre-orders until 2017 and won't be shipping its first unit until a year after that. The wait, combined with the $800 price tag, might turn off more than a few early adopters. However, it's worth noting that the price, and not the product itself, is the deterrent here. FoldiMate takes a decidedly KISS approach to in-home personal assistants. Rather than anthropomorphic automaton that tries to manage tasks above the pay grade of what the current technology can handle, FoldiMate operates on the same premise that made the Roomba a household name: If you're going to automate, automate one thing and automate the hell out of it.
That doesn't mean FoldiMate won't allow users a little bit of customization. Though each unit will ship with the ability to perform a "standard" fold, the company plans on offering additional folds for purchase through its website.