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Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner "sees" its environment

Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum c...
The Dyson 360 Eye on display at IFA 2014 in Berlin (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
The Dyson 360 Eye on display at IFA 2014 in Berlin (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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The Dyson 360 Eye is a robot vacuum cleaner that uses a panoramic camera to see its surrounding environment
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The Dyson 360 Eye is a robot vacuum cleaner that uses a panoramic camera to see its surrounding environment
The Dyson 360 Eye uses a V2 Dyson digital motor and Dyson's Radial Root Cyclone technology
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The Dyson 360 Eye uses a V2 Dyson digital motor and Dyson's Radial Root Cyclone technology
The Dyson 360 Eye features a carbon fiber brush bar and stiff nylon bristles
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The Dyson 360 Eye features a carbon fiber brush bar and stiff nylon bristles
The Dyson 360 Eye can pick capture particles down to 0.5 microns
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The Dyson 360 Eye can pick capture particles down to 0.5 microns
The Dyson 360 Eye uses tank tracks instead of wheels to maintain speed and direction when moving around
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The Dyson 360 Eye uses tank tracks instead of wheels to maintain speed and direction when moving around
The Dyson 360 Eye will be available in Japan from spring 2015
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The Dyson 360 Eye will be available in Japan from spring 2015
Dyson CEO Max Conze with the 360 Eye at IFA (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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Dyson CEO Max Conze with the 360 Eye at IFA (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
The Dyson 360 Eye on display at IFA 2014 in Berlin (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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The Dyson 360 Eye on display at IFA 2014 in Berlin (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
The 360 Eye with its canister removed (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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The 360 Eye with its canister removed (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
A top view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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A top view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
A bottom view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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A bottom view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
A cut-away view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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A cut-away view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
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Dyson revolutionized the vacuum cleaner industry when it introduced its bagless vacuum cleaner. Now, the company hopes to do the same again, with the introduction of a robot that cleans without human assistance. The Dyson 360 Eye "sees" its environment and can be controlled using a mobile app.

Dyson originally announced plans to launch a robot vacuum cleaner back in 2004 with its DC06, but the project was eventually binned. It was announced last year, though, that the company was still working to produce a robotic vacuum cleaner.

The 360 Eye is said to be the culmination of 16 years of research by more than 200 engineers and £28m (US$46m) of investment. According to Dyson, a team of 31 robotic software engineers spent over 100,000 hours creating the device's navigation system, using algebra, probability theory, geometry and trigonometry.

Dyson says that other existing robotic vacuum cleaners have a number of failings, including lack of suction power, navigating environments without actually "seeing" them, use of rotating sweepers that do not lift dirt particles adequately, and using wheels that do not allow them to move around as well as might be possible.

A bottom view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
A bottom view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

Dyson has sought to remedy each of these issues with the 360 Eye. It uses a V2 Dyson digital motor and Dyson's Radial Root Cyclone technology to deliver suction that the company says will not lose power and will capture particles down to 0.5 microns in size. A 360-degree panoramic camera coupled with infrared sensors allows the cleaner to visualize the room and work out its location. It then uses landmarks in the room, such as pieces of furniture, to navigate its way around.

A carbon fiber brush bar is used, which Dyson says will remove fine dust on hard floors, and stiff nylon bristles are employed to work their way into and clean carpets. The 360 Eye also uses tank tracks instead of wheels to move around, which are said to better maintain speed and direction, as well as help the device to overcome small obstacles. That said, it should be noted that at the demo we saw at IFA, the Dyson reps admitted that it cannot reach dirt in the very corners of rooms.

A cut-away view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)
A cut-away view of the 360 Eye (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

The cleaner's camera images at up to 30 frames per second to provide an accurate visualization of its surrounding environment. Dyson says the device is accurate to within millimeters. It weighs 2.37 kg (5.22 lb) and can hold up to 0.4 l (0.09 gal) of dust and dirt. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which can be fully charged in two hours on its slimline dock and will give about 30 - 40 minutes of cleaning time. The machine will self-dock and recharge itself when the battery runs low.

In addition to setting the 360 Eye going manually, users can program it via an iOS mobile app. Dyson Link allows users to schedule it to clean at a specific time (for example, before they return from holiday) or on a recurring schedule.

The Dyson 360 Eye will be available in Japan from spring 2015, with the rest of the world to follow. There's no word yet on pricing.

Source: Dyson

View gallery - 29 images
10 comments
Bob Flint
16 years of research by more than 200 engineers and £28m (US$46m) of investment, & it still doesn't get into the corners, most of the crap collects there.
Also by the look of the rear mounted brush the tracks run through all the dirt, (think Zamboni ) trying to sweep into a corner, who cares if it sucks down to .5 microns particles, they won't fill the cup size bin, but fur balls will.
Get rid of the bulge behind the brush and back into a corner with the thin edge opposite the drive side, then maybe you could get a lot outta that elusive corner trap...
By the way if you had 200 engineers working for 16 years on this thing outta fly to mars and back... but then that works out to be on average $14,375 annual salary for each engineer...
10basetom
Why don't they integrate a compressed air spray nozzle into the head unit so it can blow the dust/dirt away from the corners like a miniature leaf blower. With its all seeing "eye" it should be able to turn on the air blower only when vacuuming corners.
I expect royalties if they do add such a feature ;)
Nik
This seems to be the proverbial solution, looking for a problem. I have a broom, that cost me a couple of quid, that has had, probably, few thousand years of development, and guess what? It sweeps in corners!
Similarly, the 'bag-less' vacuum cleaner, when its full, what do you do with the contents? You either tip them back onto the floor, or; guess what? You tip them into a bag!
John Banister
When I hear about a vacuum with an eye, what I want to know about is its mapping capability. Since I didn't hear about that, I assume it doesn't exist, and this thing performs some version of random walk, which isn't what I was waiting for. (comments regarding an obvious vacuum probe for corners self-deleted)
Rehab
Dyson is a salesman not an inventor. His vacuums are a gimmick and those blade-less fans are perhaps the stupidest thing to ever hit the market. But many a fool has fallen to his pitch as I'm sure will many more. Thank goodness he directs his silliness to such trivial things, imagine this guy designing aircraft engines!
michael_dowling
I can tell right away it couldn't clean under my couch,it's too tall. I bet it will cost an arm and a leg,knowing how much other Dyson products sell for.
Cyndysub
How come none of these brainiacs that make these things ever have a thought to occur to them to make one of these that rides up a small ramp and dumps the debris into a container below,DUH!
VirtualGathis
I have to say I'm underwhelmed. For such a significant investment in research and development they got a product that is really on par with Neato Robics sweeper. The Neato vacuum can capture similar particle size, looks like it holds more and can do a better job in the corners.
I agree with the previous posters that putting the tracks in front of the intake/brush makes this thing a non-starter for pet owners. Fur will jam the wheels and de-lubricate the axles very quickly. I strongly suggest Dyson review it's managment as they failed to provide the engineers sufficient useful direction to produce a useful end product. Either that or they hired some very thoughtless engineers. More likely it was the Dilbert pointy haired boss syndrome. Boss: "It doesn't look very elegant with the brush up front." Engineer: "But with the brush in the front the device will actually function. If you put it in the back the wheels will jam." Boss: "That doesn't matter it looks better with the brush in the back! Do it that way."
Rockefeller Rothchild
After suffering the stupidity of the iRobot vac, we thankfully stumbled on the Neato (model VX-11, I believe), which DOES map the room, very well actually, and very efficiently cleans the floor. Sure, it could be a bit more powerful, but it's quiet, dependable and only maint is dumping the pint-sized dustbin and washing out the filter. I'll bet the $200 I spent on that will buy the BOX that the Dyson model comes in!
Zdenka Micka
Dyson is a Roomba wannabe