Appliance powerhouse Dyson is working on its first robotic vacuum cleaner, the company’s CEO and founder Sir James Dyson has confirmed.
Revealing that the company has been working on a robot vacuum cleaner for “a long time,” Sir James Dyson has suggested that Dyson will eventually launch its first robot cleaner, but does not want the device to become another “gimmick.”
“We’ve been developing robotic vacuum cleaners for years, a long time, and we will come out with one that works,” the vacuum cleaner specialist said at the recent launch of the Dyson DC50 and Dyson DC47. Suggesting that current robot vacuum cleaners are inflicted by a number of issues, Dyson added: “At the moment they have very poor pickup and they mostly wonder around aimlessly with lousy suction.”
Offering insight into what the company is currently working on, Dyson stated that “for a robotic vacuum cleaner to be serious, it has got to pick up properly, get the dust right out of the floor, and it’s got to navigate properly as you can’t afford for it to wonder around aimlessly.”
He added: “If you’ve got powerful suction you’re using up a lot of battery, therefore you’ve got to do the floor methodically without doubling up anywhere and without bouncing around. It is a really serious and difficult problem to solve but I’m not interested in producing a gimmick.”
Speaking on Dyson’s upcoming introduction, one of the company’s lead engineers, Manny Bennett, candidly stated: “It is an area we are interested in and it is something James is interested in.”
Bennett’s comments were echoed by Toby Saville, a fellow engineer in the Dyson Product Performance Team who said: “Ever since I can remember, robot vacuum cleaners have been of interest to Dyson and I’ve been here 11 years. It is a very key project for James and I think he does believe that for a vacuum cleaner, robotics can be a very important element.”
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Again insisting that a final Dyson robot vacuum cleaner could still be some way off, Saville added: “For us, we’ve always been working on a robotic vacuum cleaner and James makes no secret of that, however, as he said we are not going to bring that to market until we are happy we can concentrate the technology down even smaller more still.
“We are not going to put a robot out there that is a great robot but mediocre in terms of picking up dust. We have maybe come close to doing that, but James is a real perfectionist.”
Discussing the development process, Saville commented: “Over that time, there has been a lot of evolution in robotics technology as well so perhaps we have got close to market a few times and thought ‘oh look, there’s a new development we think is meaningful and useful’ and then it goes back to the drawing board for another three year cycle. We absolutely won’t launch the product until it’s at a capable level that people are going to be happy with and impressed with.
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“I can’t put a timeframe on it, right now it’s really hard to say but the market is increasing.”