(WCMH)– While it could make for a time-saver in the mornings, the robot’s ironing function actually has useful application outside laundry services.

According to Motherboard.com, In a paper set to be published at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automationin Stockholm in May, a team of researchers at Columbia University wrote about their finished robot after three years of working on it. The final touches came when the robot was able to analyze the subtle ridges of a garment, using two sensors made from Xbox Kinects.

However, the robot’s ability may seem limited, the laundry list of the useful applications for the technology stretches beyond that of a robotic butler.

“Basically, we’re just saying that if you have an object that doesn’t have a rigid set of states, you have to have a way to model it and deal with is, and what we were able to do is model these objects in a very nice way and figure it out,” Peter Allen, a professor of computer science at Columbia who co-authored the paper told Motherboard.com.

“You can think of working with ropes, and cable harnesses.” Food production would also benefit from robots that can grasp soft objects on the fly, Allen said.