London - It could be the answer to one of life’s most pressing problems.
Two young inventors have created a robotic ironing machine to make short work of creased shirts, blouses, trousers and underwear.
But the only downside is that it will set you back a wallet-crumpling £699 (about R12 600).
Effie – as the machine is named – has been designed by Rohan Kamdar and Trevor Kerth, both 27.
Built in Mr Kamdar’s family home in Pinner, north London, where he lived until recently, the pair have built a fully working ironing machine prototype.
Mr Kamdar explained that he intended to take the "pain" out of ironing – a chore he admits his mother has often carried out on his behalf. And he would not dream of asking his busy doctor wife to take on the chore.The full version is due to go on sale in spring.
To iron a shirt, you first hang it in the machine’s cabinet on adjustable hangers. Its doors close, then an internal steam iron presses the shirt – taking out any creases.
The machine’s name is a geeky play on words, deriving from ‘Fe’ – the name in the periodic table for the metal iron.
But while the device, measuring 4ft high, 31in wide and 16in deep, may have been invented in a garage, the pair are far from amateur inventors.
Both Mr Kamdar, who studied engineering at Cambridge University, and American-born Mr Kerth, whose engineering degree was from the University of California at San Diego, have a background in designing medical devices.
The pair created the machine out of 141 parts. They used 3D printers, acrylic laser-cutting and plastic moulding machines to create it, and have now applied for a patent for the device.
Meanwhile they promise that it can cut the amount of time taken on ironing by 95 percent. Underwear can be hung in a bag inside to be dried and a scented ball can be added to the steam tank. Clothes can even be taken straight out of the washing machine and placed into Effie while still wet. The machine will then dry your clothing and use its patent-pending steam treatment technique to rid them of all creases.
Each item takes only three minutes to iron and it can deal with a wide range of clothes and materials including polyester, cotton, silk, viscose and denim.
Mr Kamdar said: "Like absolutely everyone, our mothers ironed for us at some point.
"I got married recently and realised how much my mother did for me. I now have to do my own ironing.
"I don’t entertain the idea of my wife, Payal, doing the ironing, she’s a doctor and she has more than enough to be getting on with without doing my ironing. The idea of the device is to save time and effort."
And he said that the gadget would be "for ironing what the washing machine is for washing clothes". He explained: "Nobody likes doing it, no matter what they say. The point of this device is to take away the pain, that’s what we are trying to do."