Prototype Panasonic washing machine has robot arms that fold clean clothes

Dave Maclean
Thursday 07 September 2017 10:38
Future Tech: Panasonic's Sustainable Maintainer

It’s like something from the Jetsons – a robot washing machine that’ll fold your clean clothes into a pile ready for storage.

The huge device is a prototype which is unlikely to find its way into your kitchen any time soon, but provides a glimpse into how advancing technology could improve the most mundane tasks.

A hamper drawer opens when pressed, and the items of clothing that need to be cleaned are tossed in.

The dirty clothes go in...

A camera scans the item’s label to check the manufacturer’s instructions for water temperature and any other details, and examines the garment for stains that need particular attention.

After that, the machine gets to work – washing then drying the item – before robot arms pick up and fold the freshly cleaned item before placing it on top of the pile of finished clothes.

The machine is called the Sustainable Maintainer and was shown off by Panasonic at the IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin.

...a camera scans the label before it's washed...

Tobias Wobbe, from Panasonic, said: “It’s really easy. You will always have the optimal setting. You don’t have to think about the settings or the laundry detergent any longer.”

Noemi Besedes, also from the firm, added: “It does everything automatically, from washing the clothes, to drying, to folding.

...robot arms fold it neatly...

“It saves you a lot of time, it also washes every item at its perfect optimal setting which makes your clothes last longer.”

The firm also revealed a prototype fridge that brings your food directly to you at the touch of an app button.

...and out pops a clean pile of folded clothes

The Moveable Fridge has sensors that scan the room it is in to navigate towards its hungry owner.

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