It’s no secret that vacuum innovator Dyson is into Robotics.
Six years ago, the company introduced its Dyson 360i robotic vacuum, which managed to be a perfect mix of forward-leaning automation and a little out-of-step innovation (it lacked the latest Wi-Fi connectivity channels, and the Dyson Locked in Camera was about a decade before the first product was delivered as a navigation system).
These days, you can’t even buy the Dyson 360 Eye in the US (opens in new tab), but that doesn’t mean the company’s robotic ambitions are over. away with.
This week and without much fanfare, Dyson posted a video (opens in new tab) offering a glimpse of the company’s “top secret” robotics work. Hosted by Jake Dyson, the son of founder and CEO James Dyson, the video offers a rare glimpse of Dyson’s ongoing efforts to crack the home robotics nut.
Standing in front of a pair of large hangars at Hulvington Airfield in Wiltshire, London, Dyson said the company has a “big future in robotics” and is working with researchers from Imperial College on developing all kinds of automatons that can handle people. can save time and improve their lives.
(Image credit: Dyson)
Robots, at least those we could clearly see (some super-secret stuff was blurred out in the video), awkwardly used robotic hands to grab kids’ toys off the floor, snatch plates from a drain, and use robot vision. too busy to use. To guide a tiny Dyson vacuum-equipped robot arm to clean the living room’s handy chair.
With an uncomfortable-looking researcher, Dyson joked, “That means I’ll never get the crispness of the back of my chair.”
Most of the robots shown represent Dyson’s current advances in robots for home environments, including challenging ones such as stairs. In the video, we see a set of stairs, but no robots are attempting to navigate them.
Home robotics is a notoriously tough market. iRobot, arguably the most successful consumer robotics company in the world, has done well, but remains close to its robot vacuum roots. It has done some work in delivering healthcare robotic systems (opens in new tab) to hospitals, but that is clearly not the focus of the company.
(Image credit: Dyson)
Dyson’s ambitions, at least for now, appear very high, though it wasn’t above taking a subtle dig at the iRobot when Dyson mentioned its 360 robot vacuum and added, “And our really vacuum, by the way.” ” In truth, Roombass do the same—albeit with about half the suction power of the Dyson 360 Eye (and much less suction power than a standard Dyson upright vacuum).
Even though Dyson said robots (and wearables) are “the future of Dyson” and research projects are now mature, the reality is that none of these Dyson robots will or will ever appear in our homes. However, Dyson said what they learn from this robot research feeds back into existing products to enhance their functionality and performance for consumers.
The truth is, this isn’t a product launch announcement, this is Dyson’s recruitment video. Dyson said that, among other things, he wants to hire 700 engineers to work on a robotic brain. Where that “brain” might go, however, is unclear. Most of the robots we see in the video are parts of the robot: arms, hands, and vision systems. In no time did Dyson turn a corner and smack into a humanoid Dyson robot.
But to be fair, we didn’t look at the entire research center. That Hawking Robot could have been lurking anywhere…
For more robots you can buy and use today, check out our best robot vacuums.