Goldberg’s AUTOLab breaks robotic laundry-folding speed record

Robot folding laundry.

Ken Goldberg, director of the CITRIS People and Robots (CPAR) initiative and UC Berkeley’s AUTOLab, and team members Yahav Avigal, Tamim Asfour, Lars Berscheid and Torsten Kröger will present a breakthrough in robotic folding techniques next week at the 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2022) in Kyoto, Japan.

Previous versions of the robotic method to fold garments reached three to six folds per hour (FPH). In comparison, the latest method — called SpeedFolding — uses a two-handed system that can reach 30–40 FPH.

While robots equipped with SpeedFolding aren’t ready for installation in everyday laundry rooms just yet, the functionality may transfer down to household robotics.