Thanks to Panasonic, it might not be too long before your overflowing wash basket receives its P45. Meet the laundry robot of your dreams.
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Ideal Home got a first look at this washday wonder in Berlin this week. It's a prototype so you'll have to excuse its look – and our photos! But we're told it could be going into production in Japan as soon as late 2018 or early 2019.
The Panasonic laundry robot been developed with Seven Dreamers laboratories – now part of the Panasonic stable, and the same team behind the Laundroid folding robot that Panasonic previewed last year.
It's just one of the company's Better Living Tomorrow concepts that also includes a moving fridge that brings you food and drink when you're hungry.
But this machine doesn't just fold your clothes – it washes them, dries them, irons them and stores them within built-in wardrobe space.
Given that that the average person spends more than a year of their lives – or 375 days to be exact – folding, sorting and putting laundry away, it's clear that this is going to be the biggest revolution in home appliances since the dishwasher.
So how does it work? Well first, you drop your dirty into the machine, as demonstrated by this German chap...
More laundry loveliness: Utility room storage ideas that are practical yet stylish
Next, sensors detect how soiled said garment is, and what material it's made from, before the machine selects the ideal wash and drying cycle. Our robot friend also picks the amount of detergent, temperature and water pressure to use.
In other words, it never uses any more resources than needed, saving you precious pennies every time.
...then presented for you to store where you like.
The plan is that the Panasonic laundry robot will be able to magically transport clothes to the right spot in your wardrobe automatically. But we'll let Panasonic off for not being able to demo this just yet.
Rumour has it, production could start as soon as next year. And the price on all this genius? Well, we'll take it with a pinch of laundry detergent, but we were quoted a figure of around £25,000.
What else does the future hold? IKEA imagines high-tech changes to the heart of our homes
Yep, it's pricey, but don't be disheartened. OLED TVs that cost more than £10,000 a few years ago can now be bought for a quarter of the price. And the first mobile phone – the Motorola 8000X – had a $3,995 price tag when it was launched in 1983. That's £7,600 in today's money. And it didn't even have Snake on it.
So don't write off the idea of having one in your utility room just yet. Your bigger concern? What if the cat gets in there?!
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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