Can a laundry-folding robot fold Nomex?

laundry folding robotWe don’t know if the researchers at the University of California-Berkeley intend to teach their laundry-folding robot how to fold freshly washed Nomex, but right now it is concentrating on how to fold rectangular-shaped objects, like towels.

Here is a description of the “adorable” robot from

This laundry-folding robot may not find many fans at the local laundromat, but only because it takes so long in holding up each towel for scrutiny before folding. Still, its fussiness speaks to a special care for laundry — or painstaking programming routines — that has won our hearts. You see, folding isn’t a chore for this robot. It’s an art.

The special PR2 bot is the result of a collaboration between University of California-Berkeley researchers and the gadget guys at Willow Garage. [The] video shows the robot very carefully inspecting and then folding a pile of five unfamiliar towels of various sizes on a table, sped up 50 times.

The robot can only work its folding magic on rectangular-shaped cloth for now, so your unmentionables are safe from its scrutiny. We look forward to seeing PR2 work its slow-mo magic on a messy preteen’s room in the near future.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.