Prophets of techno-doom, get ready to change your machine-hating tunes.
A group of Japanese tech companies and unveiled their forthcoming "Laundroid" machine this week at the 2015 Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) trade show in Japan.
In development by Panasonic, Daiwa House, and Seven Dreamers since 2008, this large, full-service laundry robot can reportedly wash, dry, sort and then fold your clothes perfectly based on what its AI determines each garment to be.
"With a hypothetical bundle of clothes, each item demands different folding (we're going to say) techniques, so the machine needs to figure what that soft lump of cloth is, then prime it for folding," wrote Engadget's Mat Smith after seeing the Laundroid presentation at CEATEC.
"Because clothing is so malleable, it takes a higher degree of skill and dexterity for a robot to perform tasks with than, say, wood or metal," he continued. "However, as far as the on-the-rails demonstration on stage went, it was a success."
Indeed, video footage from the presentation suggests that a clean, folded shirt can be yours just five minutes after tossing a dirty one into the machine.
While five minutes per garment is certainly longer than it would take to just fold the darned clothes yourself, a full load put in at bedtime would be ready by the time you woke up seven hours later according to the presentation's hostess.
And it could do much more than that one day, according to its creators.
CNET reports that Laundroid was designed to be built into the project's "closet of the future" — a high-tech robotic clothing system that would not only wash, dry, sort, and fold your garments, but actually put them away for you too.
"The company has a roadmap stretching to 2020, in which it envisions a system fully integrated with your home," writes Tim Stevens of the CEATEC presentation. "You would dump dirty laundry into any of a number of chutes and, eventually, those clothes would magically reappear in the appropriate closet."
Many on Twitter clearly enjoy the idea of having this particular robot at home.
I need this one!! Right now!! Laundroid, the laundry-folding robot of our dreams, is slightly ominous in real life http://t.co/PMASNFtwVP— @tzuni_eh
Laundroid is a laundry-folding robot and I NEED THIS! http://t.co/j3AZNWoHts— @emilygbrown
Sadly for them, and maybe for you, Laundroid won't be folding any human wardrobes just yet.
A press release from Panasonic states that it aims to launch pre-orders for the laundry-folding bot sometime in 2016, but Seven Dreamers reportedly indicated that consumer retail units likely won't be available until at least 2019 and that even then, they'll probably cost "about as much as a small car."