The Dyson 360 Heurist, Dyson’s latest robot vacuum cleaner, has officially launched in the UK. It’s the successor to the Dyson 360 Eye, which is still one of the best robot vacuum cleaners on the market despite being four years old.
The Dyson 360 Heurist is designed to be more powerful, more accurate and more intelligent than the Eye, thanks to a range of new sensors and beefed-up specs almost (but not quite totally) across the board. Read on for a breakdown of its key features.
Dyson 360 Heurist − Design
The Heurist and the 360 Eye are very similar in appearance. The easiest way of describing the 360 Heurist would be to say that it looks like a tall robot vacuum cleaner.
It’s a compact cylinder clad in blue and grey, with a flash of orange at the top (the new vision and lighting system), and touches of purple (tank tracks) and red (brush bar) at the bottom.
Dyson hasn’t yet revealed the 360 Heurist’s exact dimensions or capacity. We’ll update this article when we learn what those are.
Dyson 360 Heurist − Cleaning features
Most robot vacuum cleaners on the market use side sweepers, but like the 360 Eye the Heurist uses a brush bar that spans the full 212mm width of the machine.
The brush bar features 6947 nylon bristles, which are said to be twice as stiff as the bristles on the 360 Eye, something that should help with cleaning deep carpets in particular. The speed at which the brush bar rotates has also been boosted, to 1600rpm.
Surprisingly, suction is generated by Dyson’s old V2 digital motor, the same one you’ll find inside the four-year-old 360 Eye. But Dyson says the one inside the Heurist can generate up to 20% more suction than the Eye.
There’s the same filtration system as before too, what Dyson calls Radial Root Cyclone technology, the purpose of which is to suck dust out of the air and pull it into the bin − something many other robot vacs struggle with, but not the 360 Eye.
The Heurist also offers three power modes: Quiet for “gentle cleans and a longer run time”, High for “powerful” cleaning, and Max for “more rigorous” cleans.
Related: Best robot vacuum cleaners
Dyson 360 Heurist − Sensors and navigation
Like the 360 Eye before it, the Heurist relies primarily on vision for making its way around, but it’s loaded with sensors too. Dyson calls the navigation system SLAM, which stands for simultaneous localisation and mapping, and says it’s more accurate and reliable than the version that features on the 360 Eye.
The central component of the new system is a 360-degree HDR video camera, which sits on top of the Heurist, and Dyson has made a raft of changes to ensure it works more effectively than the camera system on the 360 Eye.
Dyson says the Heurist’s camera is twice as sensitive to light as its predecessor’s camera, but more notable changes can be seen in the new LED lighting system that surrounds it.
A ring of eight white-light LEDs encircles the Heurist’s camera, with tiny mirrors reflecting the light so that it illuminates the camera’s field of view in all directions, making it easier for the vacuum to clean in low-light situations. Dyson says it might not perform quite as well in complete darkness.
These lights will automatically switch themselves on when the Heurist moves into darker areas of a room or under furniture. At maximum brightness, they’re surprisingly powerful and easily strong enough to make you wince, but the Heurist is intelligent enough to adjust the brightness to fit the situation.
One of the 360 Eye’s weakest points was its low-light performance, which can be explained by its use of infrared headlights. The Heurist’s new lighting system is Dyson’s remedy.
The company says it chose white-light LEDs because, at least to the Heurist’s camera, they do a convincing job of replicating daylight. The infrared system of old, by contrast, would help light the way but also confuse the 360 Eye, because it made everything look different to how it would look in daylight, according to Dyson.
The Heurist’s camera and lights work in tandem with two obstacle sensors, two drop sensors, two wall proximity sensors, two side-mounted Time of Flight sensors, and an accelerometer. Distance measurements are registered every 20 milliseconds.
The Heurist’s obstacle sensors are there to make sure the vacuum either slows down or stops before bumping into an object. They’re both positioned at the front of the vacuum, and each has a 60cm range.
The role of the drop sensors is to ensure that the Heurist doesn’t drive itself off the top of the stairs, or climb up anything chunky enough to tilt it more than five degrees. It’s the job of the wall proximity sensors to make the Heurist do as thorough a job as possible right at the edges of rooms, something that isn’t to be taken for granted in a robot vacuum.
However, it’s the pair of Time of Flight sensors that are the most interesting. They’re brand new additions and replace the Position Sensing Devices that featured on the 360 Eye.
Time of Flight sensors are much more precise and are therefore capable of registering even tiny positional changes so that the Heurist knows exactly where it is at all times.
Their four-metre range (two metres on both sides) also enables the Heurist to make a multitude of observations about the environment and build a map of its surroundings (more on this in the next section).
Dyson 360 Heurist − Mapping
According to Dyson, the ‘heurist’ in ‘Dyson 360 Heurist’ refers to the vacuum’s ability to learn and adapt to your home.
Thanks to the collection of sensors described above, as well as 10GB of memory (20x more than the 360 Eye) and a 20x faster processor, the Heurist can not only map your home more accurately than the 360 Eye but retain that information and continually refine it too.
So whenever it leaves its dock to start a new cleaning cycle, it’ll be able to pinpoint its exact location quickly, by cross-referencing its surroundings with the maps it has built and memorised during past cleaning cycles.
This is something that sets the Heurist apart from the 360 Eye, which simply didn’t have enough memory to retain mapping information from previous cleaning cycles.
Dyson 360 Heurist − App and controls
Dyson’s Link app is, of course, central to the 360 Heurist experience. It’s available on devices running iOS 10 and above, or Android 5 and above.
With Link, you can control pretty much everything the Heurist does, such as scheduling cleans and choosing the right power modes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As explained above, the Heurist is capable of mapping your entire home. On Link, you can split that map into individual zones, and configure the vacuum so that it behaves differently in each one.
For instance, you can get it to clean your kitchen and bathroom more frequently and more vigorously than your bedroom.
But it goes even further than that. The app also lets you create up to 10 restricted areas within these zones, areas in which the Heurist will not do any cleaning or climbing.
This should solve arguably the biggest problem most robot vacuum users have with their devices: that they’ll run over anything they’re capable of running over, whether that’s a delicate rug, important documents or something else that’s either vulnerable to damage or capable of jamming the vacuum.
Most robot vacuum users are, therefore, familiar with the annoying task of tidying up before letting the robot vac run loose. The 360 Heurist should be intelligent enough to let you cut this step out entirely.
Dyson 360 Heurist − Battery life
How much runtime you manage to squeeze out of the 360 Heurist depends on what power mode you’re in.
At Max power, a full charge will last for up to 32 minutes, while in Quiet mode it will keep going for up to 75 minutes.
When it needs to recharge, it will automatically return to its dock. A full recharge takes 90 minutes, and once it’s ready the Heurist will continue its cleaning cycle.
Dyson 360 Heurist − Price
Just like the 360 Eye before it, the Dyson 360 Heurist costs £799.99.
Though it’s new to the UK, the Heurist has actually been available in China since late 2019.