It's not impossible. We just need to simplify the tasks to make it tractable for machines. Here are the steps outlined in the pessimistic post, and how to simplify them.
- Find the pile of dirty laundry, distinguishing it from other clutter that might be in the room.
- Instead of tasking the robot to tell apart garments from clutter in the room, the robot should receive the garments from a designated drop-off point.
- The drop-off will contain bins or bags classified by garment type, so the robot will never have to pick up garments and put them in the basket.
- As far as the robot is concerned, the garments are already sorted.
- In some homes, it is possible to build laundry chute to solve the transportation problem.
- The machine could be designed with a standardized and easy to open door.
- We can design the laundry bins to be the canister that fits into the washer and dryer as part of the driver, so we don't need to transport clothes between containers. In the case of laundry bags, the bags themselves will go into the washer and dryer, so they will be made of meshed design.
- The detergent and fabric softener should already be in a container that feeds into the machine. Human operator only needs to check the liquid levels periodically or receive an automated alert when they run low.
- Again, design the door to be easily operable.
- Each bin or bag at the drop-off will select the wash cycle. This eliminates the selection process. In the future, we might design a sorter based on an RFID tag sewed onto the clothing, and have the sorter put clothes in the bin or bag automatically.
- Again the bin or bag will facilitate transport from the washer to the dryer in batch.
- The bin or bag type will determine the drying cycle.
- At the end of the cycle, the bin or bag will be transported either to a person to fold the clothing, or in the future, to a folding machine.
- Instead of retrieving clean clothes from a closet, perhaps the machine will just put the folded clothes packed in a box. It saves space too.
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