Enabling garment-agnostic laundry tasks for a Robot Household Companion Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2020

start page

  • 103330


  • 123

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0921-8890

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-793X


  • Domestic chores, such as laundry tasks, are dull and repetitive. These tasks consume a significant amount of daily time, and are however unavoidable. Additionally, a great portion of elder and disabled people require help to perform them due to lack of mobility. In this work we present advances towards a Robot Household Companion (RHC), focusing on the performance of two particular laundry tasks: unfolding and ironing garments. Unfolding is required to recognize the garment prior to any later folding operation. For unfolding, we apply an interactive algorithm based on the analysis of a colored 3D reconstruction of the garment. Regions are clustered based on height, and a bumpiness value is computed to determine the most suitable pick and place points to unfold the overlapping region. For ironing, a custom Wrinkleness Local Descriptor (WiLD) descriptor is applied to a 3D reconstruction to find the most significant wrinkles in the garment. These wrinkles are then ironed using an iterative path-following control algorithm that regulates the amount of pressure exerted on the garment. Both algorithms focus on the feasibility of a physical implementation in real unmodified environments. A set of experiments to validate the algorithms have been performed using a full-sized humanoid robot.


  • computer vision; deformable objects; force/torque control; garments; ironing; robotics