Dyson’s new robotic vacuum cleaner will map your room and then make it sparkle

12 Comments

Credit: Dyson
The 360 Eye. Photo courtesy of Dyson.

The 360 Eye. Photo courtesy of Dyson.

I think we can all agree that vacuuming isn’t fun. It really isn’t. But every time I see a Dyson commercial on TV, I want to try one. Heck yes, I’ll vacuum my apartment if it rolls around on a big silver ball!

Despite it being a vacuum company, Dyson has done a really good job of positioning itself as futuristic. And today, it played into that when it announced a robotic vacuum cleaner. The 360 Eye will first debut in Japan in spring 2015, followed by the rest of the world later in the year. The vacuum is the first product to come out of Dyson’s heavy investments in a robotics team.

The 360 Eye is the same concept as a Roomba, but it relies on a 360-degree camera and infrared sensor to actually map a room while vacuuming it, as opposed to the Roomba’s method of just bumping back and forth between obstacles and hoping for the best. The 360 Eye reportedly knows exactly what parts of a room it has covered and makes sure it gets every last corner clean.

As with its other vacuums, Dyson claims that the 360 Eye has better suction than other robot options. It supposedly nabs particles down to 0.5 microns in size by separating dust and dirt while cleaning. It also uses a carbon fiber brush that crosses the entirety of the machine, which Dyson says picks up grime more completely than the spinning side brushes iRobot uses on its robots.

The underbelly of the 360 Eye. Photo courtesy of Dyson.

The underbelly of the 360 Eye. Photo courtesy of Dyson.

The 360 Eye has a battery life of 20-30 minutes. When the battery is low, it automatically docks itself. Users can program a cleaning schedule and check in on the robot’s status from a mobile app.

While robotic vacuum cleaners are initially very convenient, they do have some pitfalls. They need to be emptied and cleaned frequently to prevent failures and errors, which can quickly eat away at how convenient they really are. Whether Dyson has solved any of the maintenance problems remains to be seen.

Inventor and industrial designer James Dyson showed off the 360 Eye in Tokyo for the first time last night. We’ll be discussing the intersection of design and robotics at our experience design conference Roadmap on November 18 and 19 in San Francisco.

12 Comments

Ken Johnsson

If you are wondering which robotic vacuum cleaner to buy I’d like to share my experience with the bObsweep. Since I have it there is no dirtiness in my house! Actually you can see what it’s capable of at http://iconosquare.com/tag/bobsweep

Travis Henning

Like the idea of these devices but hard to justify the price when you’d still need to have a traditional vac for more thorough cleaning. If they could include a hose attachment for manual cleaning, might eliminate the need for two vacuums. Make it a canister vacuum where the canister can be the robotic part for the auto-cleaning.

Pricing will be interesting. Given the typical price premium for the Dyson name, I’ll be pleasantly surprised if this comes in near $500. Though I expect it to be more like $1000-1200.

slfisher

I gave up on Roombas, but I’d give this a try. Of course, it’ll probably cost like $500. And yes, the height’s going to be a problem, though perhaps it’ll get stuck under less stuff.

Benoit Hudzia

The biggest flaw of the Dyson Robot vs Roomba is its height. Roomba can go more easily under furniture while the Dyson one is way to tall to go under a sofa or anything else than a chair.

Brook

.. also I completely agree that house pceris have gone up not because of increased demand but entirely because of increased willingness to lend larger amounts by banks and yes this is why most homes require 2 people working in order to pay the mortgage debt (unlike 50 years ago). This is why many people lead very busy stressful lives trying to bring up children when both parents have to go out to work. The banks have us all working ourselves to the bone and neglecting? our children.

Signe Brewster

I haven’t heard any exact dimensions, but from the renderings it does appear that the 360 Eye is quite tall, yes. That would be a big problem if it can’t fit under a lot of furniture.

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