Dyson 360 Eye: Robotic vacuum cleaner coming to the UK 2015

After years of speculation, Dyson has confirmed that it will be launching robotic vacuum cleaner.

The new model, called the Dyson 360 Eye, will feature a 360 degree camera on top of the cleaner to see its environment rather than just rely on sensors alone.

The cleaner will be void of controls apart from a stop/start button, with the company instead opting for the cleaner to be controlled via an Android or iOS app instead.

Hoping to offer a system that is more advanced than its competition, the new Dyson robotic cleaner will use the camera to snap 30 shots of the room a second and then use that information to steer around the room without hassle. 

To help it navigate even more accurately, the cleaner also identifies three "landmarks" around the room which it uses in a similar way to naval waypoints, Dyson told Pocket-lint ahead of the official announcement.

Because the camera is constantly seeing the entire room, Dyson says that it knows exactly where it is, even when reversing.

If that wasn't enough, the 360 Eye also records where it has been, and works in a more systematical approach to cleaning a room, a move which is similar to the Neato Botvac 85 robot vacuum rather than the more chaotic approach of the iRobot Roomba devices.

Dyson claims this approach will allow the cleaner to be as efficient as possible, something that it has to be, given its quoted 20 minute battery life before it has to return to the base station to recharge. 

The short battery life, which can be recharged and ready to go within an hour and a half, is because of the powerful digital motor that the cleaner uses.

Using the same digital motor that is found in the company's cordless Dyson Digital Slim DC59, the unit should be powerful enough to cover most dirt issues in the home, as well as have enough battery life to clean a single room in one go. 

As with all robotic vacuum cleaners the aim isn't for you to watch it in action or even worry about the battery life concerns however, but rather leave it to clean an entire floor of your house or apartment while you are out.

Those that are worried about the 360 Eye's performance will be able to monitor the progress of their cleaner wherever they've got an internet connection. Users will also be able to remotely set it going even if they aren't in the house thanks to an accompanying Android or iPhone app.

Back in the home however, and again trying to be different from the rest of the crowd, Dyson's efforts, which have been some 11 years in the making, differ considerably from what's already available.

Rather than "whiskers" that kick the dust from the edge of the room into the path of the suction inlet underneath, the new 360 Eye features a wide cleaning roll that goes to the edge of the unit and therefore your skirting board. 

The device is also smaller than most machines we've seen to date, but taller than others on the market, with Dyson acknowledging that while this won't get under some furniture, not many people care or worry about that. It will be interesting to see if that becomes a factor when it comes to sales.

As for getting around, the company have opted for tank like tracks rather than wheels to give it plenty of grip and control on carpet and hard surfaces alike. It is this track system that also allows it to get over door lips, while a sensor on the front of the unit stops it hurling itself off the top of stairs.

To say that it doesn't have infrared sensors like others in the same space would be a lie, it does. Mounted on the side and front, they are there so the robotic vacuum doesn't knock into your furniture or yourself. The main reliance is seemingly on the camera technology though. 

Other gems worth noting include a fairly small dirt bucket that will probably need to be emptied weekly; it's about little and often rather than big cleans once a month, and a removable battery if you like that thing. 

The Dyson 360 Eye is expected to go on sale in Japan before the year is out, and come to the UK and US in 2015. Dyson has yet hasn't confirmed a price or even price range.



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