Robot, Sudo Fold My Laundry

[Ty Palowski] doesn’t like folding his many shirts. He saw one of those boards on TV that supposedly simplifies folding, but it does require you to manually move the board. That just won’t do, so [Ty] motorized it to create a shirt folding robot.

The board idea is nothing new, and probably many people wouldn’t mind the simple operation required, but what else are you going to do with your 3D printer but make motor mounts for a shirt folding machine? The folding board is, of course, too big for 3D printing so he made that part out of cardboard at first and then what looks like foam board.

The side “wings” were easy to manipulate, but the top fold required a little more effort. The machine still requires a manual fold at the end and, of course, you have to put the shirt on the right way for things to work out.

Honestly, we aren’t sure this is a very practical project, but we still enjoyed the idea and we can’t deny it seems to work. We don’t think there’s much torque required so we wondered if some beefy RC servos would have been just as effective and probably a lot easier to work with. Still, just about anything that could move would work. You could probably even use a spring and a solenoid to get the same effect. There’s not much build detail, but we think you could figure it out using whatever motors you happen to have on hand.

If you find laundry too time-consuming, there’s always Eleven. If you want a better folding robot, you’ll have to put in some serious work.

11 thoughts on “Robot, Sudo Fold My Laundry

  1. It’s a great take on automating the folds! I think the robot method would blow manual folding away with the following improvements:

    1. Two robots should be used so the human operator is never waiting on the fold process
    2. Fourth motor should be added for the final fold he had been doing manually

    I don’t mind the T-shirt folding (I do the “The Gap” fold that puts the neck under your chin while you fold the bottom of the shirt up toward you). For me it’s the sock matching that is drudgery.

    1. All my socks are the same, no matching required. When enough have worn out I throw the lot out and buy another set of identical socks.

      It was the simplify, simplify, simplify of programming that made me simplify other things in my life, such as the sock situation. (I hang my clothes, no need to fold. Or iron.)

      And we are in good company: Einstein didn’t like socks either. His big toe kept wearing a hole in his socks, so he stopped wearing them.

      1. Same here. I buy 40 socks at once. Most of the place don’t stock that many socks. Last time I bought directly from factory.

        I dont throw away the old socks, i use them in the garden and such. So i have the good socks and everything else. I don’t even bother marching them. Noone see them in the garden anyway.

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