Seven Dreamers, the Japanese company behind the Laundroid folding laundry robot, driven by AI, filed for bankruptcy. The company is now in the process of selling and transferring its business, announced today on its website, which was discovered by Bloomberg editor Gearoid Reidy .
With the backing of companies such as Panasonic and Daiwa House, Laundroid had the ambitious dream of being the best costume organizer for the whole family. He had several cameras and robotic arms to scan a load of clothes, and he used Wi-Fi to connect to a server that would analyze the clothes using AI to discover the best way to fold it. It was assumed that a complementary application could track each piece of clothing that passed through the laundry and classify clothes by household member. A load of clothes would take a couple of hours to bend, as each shirt took between five and ten minutes.
Anyway, this is how it was supposed to work in theory. When I tried it at CES 2018 with my own shirt, the machine ate it and the Laundroid engineers had to work for about 15 minutes to get it out. The explanation was that their cameras could not recognize my black shirt, just the brightly colored demonstration shirts they had prepared in their hands.
I suspected that something could be wrong when the company was noticeably absent at this year's CES. Meanwhile, the rival company of laundry folding robots Foldimate returned for the second consecutive year, enjoying large crowds gathered around its prominent stand and giving non-stop demonstrations with a fully functional prototype.
When I spoke with the Seven Dreamers CEO, Shin Sakane, at CES 2018, he told me that he expected the $ 16,000 product to fall below $ 2,000. However, according to the credit research agency Teikoku Databank, the company accumulated more than $ 20 million in debts with 200 creditors while trying to bring its product to market. Actually, it was never sent.
It's sad news for everyone involved, but we may not need a machine with expensive Wi-Fi connection to do our simple tasks for us. After all, now we have Marie Kondo to teach us how to fold tight sheets.