Intelligent, powerful and effective—these are the qualities customers look for in a robot vacuum cleaner for it to surpass novelty gadget level. After 16 years (and millions of dollars) spent in research and development, the just-announced Dyson 360 Eye will be finally hitting the market next year to challenge current leaders in both automated cleaning and pet entertainment. Of particular note is its 360° panoramic camera (taking up to 30 frames per second)—the entire room can be seen at once, and the machine can intelligently create a detailed floor plan to avoid obstacles and track which spots it hasn't covered yet. And while many robot vacuum cleaners prioritize battery life over performance, the 360 Eye incorporates energy efficient, high-speed digital motor and cyclone technology (powerful enough to suck up particles down to 0.5 microns) so that cleanliness is not a bonus from the gadget, but a guarantee. Dyson's new smartphone app will allow users to schedule a clean-up away from home, which is handy if you're bringing home an unexpected guest or traveling for long periods of time.
Weighing about five pounds, the 360 Eye has continuous tank tracks in lieu of wheels, for steady speeds over all kinds of floor types, and uses two kinds of brushes (a patented carbon fiber to target hard floors, and stiff nylon bristles for carpets). It's a stark contrast to the heavy DC06 model that Dyson teased in 2001, but never hit the market due to its tentative $3,000 to $6,000 price tag. Since then, Dyson has invested both time and money to release a product they can stand firmly behind—that meets both price and also performance. While they haven't yet set a price on the 360 Eye, a Dyson rep has stated it will be competitive within the market.
The Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner will be available in Japan in the spring of 2015, while the rest of the world patiently waits until later in the year. Get a close up look at the vacuum and its specs by visiting the new vacuum's dedicated website.
Images courtesy of Dyson