About this project
5 prototypes, 3 years and lots of determination and innovation. Finally, we believe we got it right. Below is a brief journal of our adventures:
Apparel Folding Industry
We were so happy to learn that folding machines have existed for decades already. They just are too big and expensive to be used in laundromats and homes.
Brainstorming for an alternative
We researched the current folding solutions and realized that folding garments is not a small challenge. Fabric is very difficult to manipulate in a consistent way using a machine. (When you apply force to a garment in one direction it doesn't necessarily move to the required direction)
Also, we had to come up with a small enough design that would fit in stores and later households. On top of making it very easy and enjoyable to use.
FoldiMate 9000 POC
The winning concept of our brainstorming sessions was then built as a basic prototype to experiment and test it's behavior with garments.
FoldiMate 9000 Alpha
Satisfied with the POC results we proceeded to create a fully automatic prototype while reaching out to potential customers and testing out FoldiMate 9000 viability in different scenarios.
FoldiMate 5000 POC
We then brainstormed again for a better and more suitable design (smaller, cheaper, easy to use, versatile) and came up with a way to fold using only a rotating rod and a simple measurement tape both of which you can buy at your local home depot store.
After playing with drills and tapes for a while - fun ;-), we started building a prototype in Ted's garage that will prove it can actually fold clothes as we envisioned and tested it successfully with different types of tops from bike jerseys to sweaters to sweatshirts.
FoldiMate 5000 Alpha I (in testing)
When Robert came to Ted's garage one day and saw the POC, he immediately said "I can do it better and manufacturable!" and jumped on board by joining the founding team.
Together we designed and built FoldiMate 5000 Alpha I in Robert's workshop in Berkeley, which currently goes through daily tests and design improvements.
FoldiMate 5000 Alpha II (in progress)
Alpha I tests shows us we're on the right track. Based on our key learnings thus far we decided to manufacture an improved version of Alpha I which we'll take with us to the largest laundry industry trade show, The Clean Show @ June 20th in New Orleans booth #5255, come and pay us a visit.
FoldiMate 5000 Beta
Based on extensive tests we'll perform with Alpha I/II and with the support of the Kickstarter community, we'll manufacture 25 units to our early backers and work closely with them to improve the FoldiMate experience before we mass produce it.
2014 - FoldiMate 5000
Robotic technology for the appliance industry, FoldiMate 5000 is our first commercial version geared for self use in coin laundromats and businesses.
Just place an item, press a button, and receive it professionally folded.
No training needed, anyone can use it.
Can fold shirts of almost any type (long/short sleeve) XS to XXL, towels and pants.
A 1/3 of a washer, just put it on a table and start FoldiMateing
FoldiMateing clothes will take a 1/2 of manual folding time
- Footprint: 25"W / 28"L / 29"H
- Weight: ~55lbs
- Voltage: 110/200V
- Speed: ~250 items/hr
- Compatible with existing coins or card solutions
* Beta units will fold shirts and then, we will send our backers software updates which will teach FoldiMate to fold more items
FUTURE - FoldiMate 800
With additional resources and your support (read more below), we will be able to develop FoldiMate 800, a folding machine for our homes.
Given the evolution and experience we'll gain with FoldiMate 5000, the 800 unit would be smaller, better and most importantly, we estimate the retail price to be less than $1500 depending on demand & volume.
An exceptional team with more than 30 years of experience in innovation, robotics, design and manufacturing.
- Gal Rozov (CEO) >15yrs software architect and CTO
- Ted Selker (CTO) >30yrs of innovation. MIT Media Lab Professor, CMU Silicon Valley Associate Director and IBM Fellow
- Robert Ford (Head of R&D) >30yrs Robotics workshop owner and co-founder of OQO - world's smallest personal computer
- Michael Keegan (Robot Engineer) >9yrs building robots
- Kevin Medlock (Robot Engineer) >30yrs of high precision mechanics
Testing FoldiMate at our 13,000 sq/ft workshop and factory space:
THANKS TO YOU
FoldiMate 5000 is Made in USA. Manufactured and assembled in our workshop and with the help of local partners we've teamed up with.
Reaching our goal will help us make the first 50 Beta & RC units for our backers which will allow us to join forces with the right strategic partners who will provide the extra resources and funds for making FoldiMate mass manufacturable.
Just as an example, each FoldiMate has 13 motors, 2 power supplies, 4 tapes and rods, it's own 40 ports control board, cover and safety tray and this is the short list. Ordering in volume batches will result in a significant discount and will allow us to fully hire our wonderful team in order to boost the final fine tuning of the beta and the testing.
* This is why we hope to exceed our funding goal and have many more FoldiMate 5000 units shipped to our backers who will directly fund our high R&D, tooling and compliance costs
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
We need your vote of confidence so FoldiMate could reach your local store and home faster than ever. Join us and:
- ORDER FOLDIMATE 5000 NOW
Differentiate your business with the FoldiMate offering and experience. This is the best way to contribute and join the FoldiMate community.
- SUPPORT FOLDIMATE 800 @ HOME
Your vote will show us that the world is ready to "FoldiMate" clothes. With additional resources and your support, we will be able to develop FoldiMate 800 and create a home unit that will retail for less than $1000.
- BRING FOLDIMATE TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Help us bring FoldiMate 5000 into your neighborhood and your local laundromats. We need your active support to spread out the word and start the revolution from the people who wants to FoldiMate clothes.
1. Print our brochure and make sure your local laundromat or business owner knows about this unique opportunity to join early and be a part of the FoldiMate community.
2. Signup more FoldiMate ambassadors. Share the vision and story with them, in person, on Facebook and etc.
Taxes and Regulations
Please account for your local taxes and regulations before you pledge for a reward as these costs won't be covered when we ship it to you.
* We'll do our best to help just keep us posted.
Risks and challenges
As with any hardware based startup we face all of the risks involved in making new products and bring them into reality.
Given our unique technology here are some challenges we work try reduce:
We started to test our supply chain and make sure we give reasonable dates based on our past experience
If we don't scale fast enough we won't be able to afford the high costs incurred with manufacturing a robotic appliance. This is why we approached the crowd to help us drive the demand from the grounds up
FoldiMate requires extensive testing which you can see in our plans. Having backers testing and using FoldiMate then providing us with valuable feedback is another great reason to have the crowd's support
We plan to certify FoldiMate to comply with US laws, should there be country specific compliance needs, we will do our best to get certification or happily offer a refund
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
GO FOLDMATES! Show your support in the team and vision. We saved a warm place on our website just for you. Thanks mate!Estimated delivery:
FoldiMate @ my NEIGHBORHOOD:
Receive our FoldiMate backer sticker and show off in your neighborhood by placing it on your car, door or local laundromat window.
[see rewards section]Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
FoldiMate AMBASSADOR: Receive the exclusive ambassador wristband on top of the FoldiMate backer sticker and proudly spread the word. [see rewards section]Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
FoldiMate COMMUNITY MATE: Receive our team polo shirt on top of the ambassador wristband and FoldiMate backer sticker. Be our local voice in your community and help us reach more business owners and ambassadors. [see rewards section]Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
FoldiMate 800 @ HOME: Receive FoldiMate's laundry sorting hamper and make your laundry tasks a little easier while we work on making them enjoyable.
Support our mission to deliver FoldiMate to every home. Together, we can change the laundry folding experience forever. [see rewards section]Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)
FoldiMate INNER CIRCLE: On top of receiving all of the cool rewards (listed above), we'll invite you to a tour in our Berkeley workshop. You will be the first to test FoldiMate 5000 Beta units and then enjoy a delicious lunch/dinner with the founding team.
* Excluding flights and/or accommodationsEstimated delivery:
1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)
FoldiMate 5000 BETA: Have a unit before anyone else, offer a unique service to your customers or just save on operating costs. Influence the future design and capabilities by having a close relationship with FoldiMate's founding team.
* Your unit will be exchanged with a production line model, free of charge. Trust goes both waysEstimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)
FoldiMate 5000 EARLY BIRD: Receive the first release candidate units hot off the manufacturing line. Be the first of your area to offer the FoldiMate experience.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
FoldiMate 5000 KICKSTARTER edition: Have a FoldiMate unit in your store to boost your business and for everyone to enjoy! The kickstarter FoldiMate community will surely show their support soon after.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (35 days)