(From left) Noa Paz, Sapir Cohen and Hila Levavi.
(photo credit: TECHNION)
Are you tired of folding laundry? Students from the computer sciences faculty of Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are coming to the rescue. They have developed a robot who folds laundry in seconds.
The I-Fold Project was developed by Sapir Cohen, Noa Paz and Hila Levavi as part of a course in Arduino (an open-sources electronics platform based on user-friendly hardware and software) and IoT (Internet of Things, a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction).
The course has been led by Itai Davran, with trainers Boris Van Susin and Marina Minkin, and Dr. Nir Levi, who is director of academic cooperation in Microsoft research and development.
The robot was presented this week as part of the Technion’s annual Projects Week in which computer science students present what they have been working in the lab for development of systems and software.
“The algorithms we have developed make it possible for the user to choose among folding various types of clothes and different folding techniques,” said Paz.
The robot consists of three arms, three motors and three blue plastic surfaces that do the actual folding. The users has to define in the application the type of clothes – trousers, shirt or small towel – spread it on the device and press a button. The most difficult part was the mechanical part. “We have a lot of experience in software, but coping with the mechanical challenges was complicated and demanded many experiments and improvements,” said the developers.
The programming course using Arduino makes it possible for students to use advanced technologies, including those using smartphones and tablets and innovative programs, during their studies. The Technion course is aimed at challenging students to build a project independently and perform the programming using smart systems combining hardware and software.