There’s a New Robot (Vacuum Cleaner) in Town

by Chris Martin on September 30, 2014

You know that you don’t have to vacuum that room, right?

Technology has become so advanced in the 21st century that you can now have a robot handle this chore for you. There are numerous robotic vacuum cleaners available on the market, ranging in price between $100 and $500. All you have to do is charge the battery, place them in a room, and turn them on.

Look how hard she’s working to vacuum her den. She deserves a break.

New Kid on the Block: The Dyson 360 Eye

Or you can simply take a pass on the rest and wait for (what claims to be) the best: the soon-to-be-released Dyson 360 Eye automated vacuum cleaner.

The most obvious difference between the 360 Eye and its predecessors is that it is manufactured by a vacuum cleaner company, rather than robotics firms like iRobot, Neato, Infinuovo, and a few Japanese companies. Interestingly, Dyson almost unveiled a robotic vacuum way back in 2001, but pulled it from the production line shortly before its release to the public. But now, Dyson executives say that they have increased the device’s power, decreased the size of its components, and introduced improved technology that can produce performance superior to that of its competitors.

The 360 Eye Sees All

The Dyson 360 Eye differs from all other robotic vacuums due to its 360-degree panoramic camera mounted at a 45-degree angle atop the vacuum. This camera allows it to scan the room and detect furniture, room separations, and areas which have not yet been vacuumed. This technology is intended to allow the 360 Eye to clean more thoroughly than other robotic vacuums.

The Latest and Greatest Robotic Vacuum

There are other innovative features that have been incorporated into the Dyson 360 Eye. For example, it boasts a revolutionary digital motor which spins at roughly 100,000 RPMs with incredible efficiency. Instead of using wheels to move along floors, the 360 Eye has tank-like tracks which enable it to climb over the edges of thresholds, floor mats, and area rugs more easily than its competition. Its array of sensors essentially creates a “map” of the room it is cleaning, although this layout is not stored in its memory (since the furniture may be moved before the next vacuuming). Finally, Dyson has leveraged its history of vacuuming innovation to give the 360 Eye more suction power than any other automated cleaning product in its class.

Okay… not THAT much suction. But it’s still a lot.

It’s interesting to watch the 360 Eye do its job because it divides floor space into three meter-square sections and cleans each segment before moving on to the next – unlike other robotic vacuums which often appear to wander aimlessly around a room. Like its counterparts, the 360 Eye can be operated with a remote control and even via a digital app. It can locate and dock itself in its charging station, and each charge lasts roughly 20 to 30 minutes.

Don’t Toss Out Your Old Vacuum Cleaner Just Yet

Now, the bad news: the Dyson 360 Eye won’t be available to the public until sometime in 2015 – and then it will only be sold in Japan. Though its retail price hasn’t yet been announced, it’s safe to assume that it will target the upper end of the market. So you won’t be seeing an invasion of 360 Eyes in North America anytime soon.

However, consumers can hope that Dyson’s 360 Eye will improve the overall quality of automated vacuum technology in the future, which will eventually filter down into products which are more affordable for the average person. Perhaps someday, the Dyson 360 Eye will take its place alongside dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, and home automation systems as an invention which drastically simplifies day-to-day living.

Will our children even know what a manually-operated vacuum cleaner looks like?

Written by Chris Martin

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