Dyson Launches Its First Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
A robotic vacuum cleaner which uses a 360-degree 'eye' to navigate around a room has been launched by Dyson.
The Dyson 360 Eye is the firm's first robotic cleaner, and is the result of 16 years of research.
Infrared sensors and a panoramic camera lens are used to triangulate its position and plot its path around a room.
Items such as bookshelves and chairs are used as landmarks to help it navigate.
Up to 30 images every second are taken by the on-board camera, so the machine can constantly establish where it has been, and where it still needs to clean.
The vacuum cleaner can be activated remotely using a smartphone app, and has battery life of up to 30 minutes.
It uses tank-like tracks to move over small obstacles.
It is not the first company to release a robotic vacuum cleaner, but it insists the use of a 360-degree camera is unique.
The machine is powered by a V2 Dyson digital motor and uses the company's Cyclone technology to separate dust and dirt.
Dyson said there were more than 420 patents and patent applications worldwide relating to technology used in the robot.
The company has not yet revealed the price of the 360 Eye, but the vacuum will go on sale in Japan in spring next year and in the UK in the summer.
Company founder Sir James Dyson said: "Most robotic vacuum cleaners don't see their environment, have little suction, and don't clean properly. They are gimmicks.
"We've been developing a unique 360 degree vision system that lets our robot see where it is, where it has been, and where it is yet to clean.
"Vision, combined with our high speed digital motor and cyclone technology, is the key to achieving a high performing robot vacuum - a genuine labour saving device."