VAC TO THE FUTURE ; Robot Dyson that cleans the house while you are out [Edition 2] [Mirror (UK)]
(Mirror (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BRITISH inventor Sir James Dyson yesterday unveiled the first robotic vacuum cleaner that can be controlled with a smartphone app.
Billionaire Sir James reckons the Dyson 360 Eye is a cut above its rivals in the robot wars because it can be put to work while its owners are out of the house.
And the clever gadget's unique 360-degree camera lets it see where it has already cleaned.
Launching the appliance in Tokyo, Japan, Sir James said: "Most robotic vacuum cleaners don't see their environment, have little suction and don't clean properly - they are gimmicks.
"Too many manufacturers ignore cleaning performance and want you to think their machine is clever simply because it is a robot.
"If a vacuum can't clean then it's pointless."
Sir James - inventor of the world's first bagless vacuum and bladeless fan - revealed it had taken 16 years and Pounds 28million to bring the Dyson 360 Eye to life.
Its hi-tech lens takes 30 frames a second to map the house with landmarks the robot can recognise, such as the sofa, coffee table and TV.
The nineinch gadget, which motors around on tank-style tracks, can be fired up while its owner is at work or on holiday. It has 30 minutes of battery life and even knows when it is low on power so it can dash back to its docking station.
After a 90-minute charge, it sets off again to complete its task.
Its 100-watt motor spins at 78,000rpm - four times as fast as a Formula One car's engine - and the camera and a series of infrared sensors stop it from bumping into furniture or going over obstacles like toys or slippers.
The robot has been kept under wraps until now while a team of 200 engineers and 31 software experts spent 100,000 hours perfecting its navigation system
Sir James said: "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 oa the key to achieving a high performing robot vacuum - a genuine labour-saving device."
The Eye 360 will launch in Japan in spring and cost around Pounds 700 when it arrives in the UK.
Alternatives already on the market include the iRobot Roomba 780 at nearly Pounds 600, Hoover's RBC009 at Pounds 400, the Samsung VC- RM72VS, priced Pounds 473 and the Vileda Relax at about Pounds 229.
But like them it still has a major flaw - it cannot get itself up and down the stairs.
SEE VIDEO OF THE VAC mirror.co.uk/ mustsee
"Most robot vacuums don't clean properly, they are gimmicks JAMES DYSON BLASTS HIS RIVALS YESTERDAY
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