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Dyson is developing top-secret robotics, such as a “robot brain”

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The vacuum manufacturer is developing next-generation robotics.

image credits: techtosee

It’s no secret that Dyson, the vacuum creator, is interested in robotics.

The Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum was debuted six years ago, and it was a great blend of forward-leaning robotics and slightly out-of-step innovation (it lacked the latest Wi-Fi connectivity channel, and Dyson locked in the camera as a navigation system almost a decade before delivering the first product).

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The Dyson 360 Eye is no longer available in the United States, but that doesn’t mean the company’s robotic dreams are over. Not at all.

Dyson released a video(opens in new tab) this week with little fanfare, revealing the company’s “top secret” robots work. The film, which is hosted by Jake Dyson, the son of Dyson founder and CEO James Dyson, gives a rare insight inside Dyson’s continuous efforts to crack the home robotics nut.

Dyson claimed the company has a “huge future in robotics” and has been working with Imperial College researchers on building various kinds of automatons that can save people time and improve their lives.

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The robots were busy grabbing children’s toys off the floor with articulated robot hands, snatching plates from a drain, and using robotic vision to guide a robot arm equipped with a tiny Dyson Vaccum to clean a living room easy chair, at least those we could clearly see (some of the super-secret stuff was blurred out in the video).

“This means I’ll never, ever, ever find crisps down the back of my chair,” Dyson quipped to one uneasy-looking researcher.

The majority of the robots on display are Dyson’s most recent breakthroughs in robots designed for domestic surroundings, particularly difficult ones like staircases. We see a set of stairs in the video, but no robot is attempting to navigate them.

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The market for home robotics is notoriously challenging. iRobot, probably the world’s most successful consumer robotics firm, has done well while staying true to its robot vacuum roots. It has done some work in hospitals offering healthcare robot systems (opens in new tab), but that is definitely not its focus.

At least for the time being, Dyson’s aims look to be far loftier, though the company wasn’t beyond making a subtle jab at iRobot when it noted its 360 robot vacuum and added, “and ours actually vacuum, by the way.” Roombas, in fact, accomplish the same thing, albeit with half the suction force of a Dyson 360 Eye (and far less suction power than a standard Dyson upright vacuum).

Despite Dyson’s claims that robots (and wearables) are “the future of Dyson” and that research projects are “ripe,” there’s no way of knowing if or when any of these Dyson robots will ever make their way into our homes. However, Dyson stated that the information gained from this robot research is used to improve current goods.

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The truth is that this is Dyson’s recruitment film, not a product launch announcement. Dyson stated that it plans to hire 700 engineers to work on a robot brain, among other things. But it’s unclear where that “brain” will end up. The majority of the robots in the film are pieces of robots: arms, hands, and vision systems. Dyson never turned a corner and collided with a humanoid Dyson robot.

To be honest, we didn’t get to view the entire research facility. That huge robot could have been hiding in plain sight…

Check out our best robot vacuums for robots that you can buy and use right now.

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