Dyson’s robot vacuum cleaner – the Dyson 360 Eye – to arrive in 2015

4 Sep 2014

The Dyson Eye 360 robotic vacuum cleaner

Dyson is about to shake up the robotic cleaning market with a new intelligent robot, the Dyson Eye 360, which uses a camera to map rooms and can be triggered remotely via a smartphone app.

Dyson is making the claim it will be the most powerful robot cleaner on the market using the company’s patented cyclone technology to achieve greater suction power.

The idea is the robot, which commands more than 420 patents, can clean on any floor surface and can clean your house for you while you’re out working or shopping once you send it instructions from a specially developed smartphone app.

Users can use the iOS or Android app to even schedule the robot to clean the house or apartment while you are away on holidays.

Machine vision

The robot, which is the result of 16 years of intensive R&D by 200 engineers and a budget of stg£28m, has at the heart of it a vision system that takes up to 30 frames per second to interpret its surroundings.

The 360-degree panoramic vision system took more than 100,000 hours from a team of 31 robot software engineers to create the navigation system.

Because of the shutter speed of the camera, which matches the speed of the robot, its position is accurate to within a millimetre, so it knows exactly where it is in the room.

The device also uses infrared sensors to detect where obstacles lie – not that obstacles will be a problem because the robot uses tank tracks rather than wheels to get around.

War of the robots begins

“Most robotic vacuum cleaners don’t see their environment, have little suction, and don’t clean properly. They are gimmicks,” said Dyson CEO and founder James Dyson.

“We’ve been developing a unique 360° vision system that lets our robot see where it is, where it has been, and where it is yet to clean.

“Vision, combined with our high-speed digital motor and cyclone technology, is the key to achieving a high-performing robot vacuum – a genuine labour-saving device.”

The robot uses Dyson’s celebrated digital motors and Radial Root Cyclone technology to separate dust and dirt, capturing dirt and particles down to 0.5 microns.

Rather than using rotating sweepers, the Dyson robot uses a brush bar that extends the entire width of the machine and uses carbon fibres to remove fine dust on hard floors, as well as stiff nylon bristles to agitate and clean carpets.

The Dyson Eye robot will go on sale in Japan in spring 2015 and in the rest of the world later that year.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years