With just a couple of months remaining from this year, all big companies are trying to fulfill their yearly objectives, including Dyson. One of their novelties was just presented at IFA Berlin 2014: the Dyson 360 Eye. According to Dyson, the company that has changed the cleaning industry forever, they invested over $46 mil in this new robotic vacuum cleaner. Until now, Dyson was only producing uprights and canisters. But within the last 2 years, Dyson has prepared a surprise for us (and also for Roomba & Neato, the main robotic vacuum cleaner producers at the moment). The Dyson 360 Eye is the first of its kind within this manufacturer. The Eye 360 is capable of cleaning floors without human assistance, but this is not all that it does. Read on for more helpful details on this exciting invention from Dyson.
Specifications of the Dyson 360 Eye
The 360 Eye is not expected to be released to the public until Spring of 2015, however it is already projected to be a major seller for Dyson thanks to the interest received from the public all over the world. According to CNET, over 70,000 people have subscribed to be notified as soon as the product hits the stores. A YouTube video that was released in early September showcased the vacuum’s interesting new specifications such as the two types of bristles included, allowing it to be used on hard floors and carpets:
The Radial Root Cyclone Technology
The Radial Root Cyclone technology allows the device to suck dust and dirt particles from a variety of surfaces, which in turn captures even microscopic dust particles. Unlike other types of robotic vacuums, the Dyson 360 Eye will be able to provide suction across the full width of the machine. This will allow it to clean a larger area in less time. It features the smallest Radial Root Cyclone technology in the industry and can generate enough force to even capture pollen and mold particles that can be found buried deep within the fibers of your carpets or rugs.
The Powerful Dyson Digital Motor V2
In order to guarantee the suction power that Dyson has promised with the Eye 360 vacuum, they had to add a powerful motor that would allow this robotic vacuum to live up to its brand name. However, the motor also needed to be lightweight enough to be placed on a small, compact robotic vacuum. Therefore, the Dyson Digital Motor V2 was designed to provide plenty of suction power with minimal weight. This motor uses digital pulse technology that allows it to reach speeds up to 78,000 rpm.
The Mobile App
The Dyson Eye 360 is the first of its kind to use mobile application technology to clean your home. This device is capable of working along with a free iOS or Android app known as the Dyson Link app, that allows the owner to begin their cleaning tasks by remote. The vacuum app also enables you to set up a schedule for your robotic vacuum’s cleaning routine so that your flooring will remain tidy even while you are away from home. And like most robot vacuum cleaners, the Dyson 360 Eye automatically goes back to its charging station before the battery goes dead. It maps the cleaning progress and automatically downloads software updates so that your vacuum will always have the latest technology on hand. This app will automatically activate your 2 year guarantee with Dyson, and provide you with access to helpful troubleshooting guides just in case you ever need them.
The Dyson 360 Eye is the only robotic vacuum cleaner that is capable of accurately cleaning all types of flooring material. Many other vacuum brands in the industry have a tendency to feature wheels that have little or no traction. This can cause the tracks to become stuck, or shift off course. The friction coefficient difference causes measurement errors in classic robotic vacuum cleaners. The 360 Eye overcomes this problem. The tank tracks are able to provide continuous movement power, which makes the product ideal for homes with various types of flooring installed.
Carbon Fibre Filaments
The 360 machine is the only robotic vacuum that features a full-width brush bar with carbon fibre filaments installed. Many robotic vacuums that have already been released in the United States, are unable to provide adequate suction across the entire width of the machine. The Dyson robotic vacuum features a refreshing alternative to flimsy bristles and side sweeping action. It has the brand’s most advanced cleaner head technology yet with two different types of bristles that work together to provide ultimate cleaning for carpets and hardwood flooring.
Consumer Insight & User Reviews
Although the Dyson 360 Eye will not be available to the public until mid-2015, spectators have been able to see vacuum in action in Tokyo at the IFA Berlin show. While seeing a new product work in a controlled environment may not be enough to convince some consumers, those who have seen it will agree that it is an impressive machine that is sure to positive reviews once it hits the shelves next year. Owners of other robotic vacuum cleaners are interested in how the machine will compare to their current devices. Those who are familiar with the Dyson brand are hoping to see a positive change in the hands-free cleaning industry, and are eager to test out the product once it becomes available.
How is the 360 Eye Different from other Robotic Vacuum Cleaners on the Market?
While it is similar to other hands-free systems that are on the market today, the Dyson 360 Eye robot offers many features that smaller or lesser quality robotic vacuums can not compare to. The 360 vision system allows the machine to observe and interpret its surroundings from all angles. It has a powerful digital motor, can be programed to clean at any time using the free mobile app, and is capable of generating the highest suction of any other type of robotic vacuum cleaner. If you would like to be one of the first to find out about the release date for the Dyson 360 Eye, and other information, you can fill out the simple request form that can be found on the official website for the Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner.
My insight on Dyson Eye 360’s movement algorithm
According to Dyson, over 100 thousand hours were spent in production, developing the 360 degrees system based on a sensor fusion approach which includes video processing, range sensor readings and Artificial Intelligence. Over 30 people worked at this project. The outcome: a machine that learns about its environment and avoids fixed and mobile obstacles like furniture, stairs or pets. Dyson covers its’ movement algorithm in this video:
Now, you may not be familiar with mobile robots movement algorithms, so here a small list with the most important used for achieving a collision-free trajectory:
- Potential fields – The movement space C is modeled by a function of potential U(x,y). The movements are made towards diminishing the gradient of the function. Another view of this approach is to consider the obstacles and the moving robot as negative electric charges, and the target as a positive one. The robot will naturally be repelled by the obstacles and attracted by the target. The figure bellow illustrates this:
- Swarm intelligence – Derived from behavior patterns observed in social insects, flocks of birds or schools of fish, swarm intelligence relies on the knowledge produced by simple individuals for solving complex navigation trajectories. Not quite suitable for single entities, the robot can still calculate paths using virtual entities.
- VFH and its variants – The Vector Field Histogram is very similar to the algorithm presented by Dyson in their teasers. The robot creates a histogram grid, polarizes the histogram according to its estimated location and based on sensor readings, moves through a candidate valley. You can read more about VFH on Wikipedia.
- Artificial Neural Networks – although this artificial intelligence method received high attention due to its similarity to the way our brain works, the role of ANNs in calculating robot trajectories is somehow limited, as the results are fairly sensitive to the weights of the internal layers on neurons inside the network. This mathematical instrument works better when it is used in conjunction with other techniques, such as Q-learning. Here’s an implementation:
- SLAM & Dynamic Window – The so-called Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) presumes the construction of a map of the environment while simultaneously tracking the robot’s location. This can be achieved with range sensors such as i.e. LIDAR laser range sensor. The dynamic window is applied locally, as the robot progresses among static and dynamic obstacles, towards the target. A variant of this approach is implemented by Mobile Robots on their navigation software.
- Computer vision based algorithms – Well, as the name states, these rely on video processing. One of the most used camera sensors is Xbox Kinect. If you want to watch some videos on indoor mapping with Kinect, you can see this, this and this. Software engineers usually use Kinect’s infrared sensor to obtain an indoor map. Research in this particular area has been carried on since the last 10-15 years. The similar solution is provided by Dyson is thus not so revolutionary as many of you thought. Dyson is however using an omnidirectional camera and their own infrared sensors to achieve the same thing. The only notable aspect of their product is the Eye 360 marketing initiative – presenting the complete sensor as an artificial eye.
Well, I hope I’ve shared some light over the newest Dyson. The last aspect that needs to be covered is the price. The Eye 360 is expected to cost around $1200, more than twice the price of a good Roomba or a Neato. However, the product promises a lot, so it could be worth it. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if we are witnessing an evolution or a revolution. I am more than happy to receive and answer to any comments that you might have related to this product.
24 Oct 2015 – UPDATE!!! Dyson just updated the Japanese version of its website with the price of the Dyson 360. It costs ¥ 149,040, which is roughly $1250. That’s more than the $900 Roomba 980 which I’ve just reviewed.
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I have a Neato VX11 which is on its second set of wheels and also batteries. I also bought a pet kit for it only because it is quieter and it has given excellent service over 3 years. Again it needs batteries, so I was thinking of a new machine. (Later technology etc) I was considering a Neato Botvac. I would have to go to the 85 before getting the pet care brush. For me the straight bladed brush is redundant. They should sell a kit without it. Here in Brisbane, Australia the Botvac 85 is close to Au$1000. It is currently on special at DJs for Au$850 which is attractive.
I wonder if the Dyson is worth waiting for. It is really the Mercedes Benz AMG when all I need is a VW Golf. But still I would like to see it released to see the effect it has on the market and prices. It does sound wonderful the only drawback from my point of view is the reported 20 mins use and over an hour to recharge.
Jason Roberts says
IMO you have 3 options: buy the Botvac 85, buy the Roomba 880 or wait for a couple of months for the 360 Eye. Concerning the last option, Dyson & early testers reported a better suction, a better movement algorithm and a better control via smartphone apps (when compared with Neato or iRobot). The price will be however higher than the Bootvac’s. I would dare to say almost twice as high. I don’t think Dyson’s release would influence the prices of the other market players. The battery is a sensitive subject. Dyson didn’t actually provide official battery specs. It could be better than Neato’s (which is the best at the moment). We’ll just have to wait and see. If you can wait 2-3 months, you’ll have all the information you need to buy an appliance which it should last at least 4-5 years.
Brian Lucas says
1. Do we know the approximate rate of progress (sq.m/h) allowing for recharging?
2. I have a two bedroom flat with a total of 8 ‘rooms’ including bathrooms and cupboards all on hard surfaces. If I leave the door open will the Eye be able to work its way around the entire flat which is a rectangle approximately 14m x 7m overall?
3. Does the machine automatically empty itself when full? (This seems probable from the wording on one of the pictures but I have not found this specifically confirm).
Jason Roberts says
1. It can work approximately 30 mins. That means, considering an average speed of 0.5m/s, that this vacuum cleaner handles around 300sqm/h. This is however a speculation, I don’t have the exact data.
2. Yes. Other robot vacuum cleaner such as Roomba 880 and Neato Botvac have already implemented the multi-room functionality, I’m sure Dyson has it too.
3. No. The machine will however notify you when it is full.
i don’ like dyson, a lot of brag but bad quality products (my experience). And this robot, so much tech and they make it so tall? It can’t even go under a bed with this height. And they make it round which in my opinion is also a bad choice. I don’t like it. In my opinion the neato botvac is currently the best robot vacuum cleaner on the market.
Jason Roberts says
Henry, we’ll just have to wait and see. At them moment you’re right, the D85 from Neato is one of the best robotic vacuum cleaners on the market.
The Dyson isn’t that much taller than the competition at 12cm (Neato is 10, irobot is 8). One main advantage of the Dysons’ size is it’s width x 24 and depth of 22. This means it could potentially go under a bookcase (adding a few risers if necessary) where other bots would be too wide.
The navigation could also be a big advantage since it uses trianglution from known points, meaning it should be able to easily relocate itself if it’s moved (if other current robots with navigation are moved or the wheels slip then they can permanently loose their location)
The main concerns of this robot appear to be how it will handle corners. There is no side brush on it and the brush roller is quite far back from the front of the design. Hopefully, the extra suction will make this a non issue but hard to say until it’s been released.
I currently have a LG Roboking (AKA Hombot) and I can’t fault it, it actually does a better job on my internal door mat than me manually vacuuming with my Dyson.
But will be interesting to see the Dyson cyclone technology in a robot
Its now september when is this coming?
Jason Roberts says
I don’t think it will be any time soon. If they don’t release it in a few weeks, they will miss the Black Friday and one month later, they will miss the holidays. It was supposed to be launched in Japan first, but there’s also no activity over there. I think they still have some technical issues to figure out. I’ve emailed them, here’s a part of their reply:
Thank you for contacting Dyson. We appreciate your interest in Dyson technology.
In regards to your inquiry, we currently do not have an estimated date as to when the Dyson 360 Eye robot will be available for purchase in the United States unfortunately. However, we are anticipating that it will become available sometime in the fall of 2015.”
Javier Lopez says
So after a year of hype and 16 years of research and development Dyson may still have some issues to resolve on their first venture into robotic vacuum territory.
They’re lucky their fans will buy up anything they produce however long they make people wait, but I’m sure most of those waiters moved on during the last year and purchased whatever the competition was offering.
This pattern of marketing hype before the product is actually ready for market is becoming all too common among established manufacturers and even more prevalent among tech startups.
I don’t know if you’ve heard about The Grid – an AI driven website development platform – but they have also left people hanging for more than a year. It seems that more and more companies are prepared to run a full expense marketing and awareness campaign well before they know the product is viable.
And just like Dyson with their much vaunted 360 Eye, they’ve done a very poor job of keeping people up to date on progress. They just go completely silent as if they never wanted anyone to know about their product in the first place. So much time goes by that they’ll have to start from scratch with their marketing. Either that or start work on the product replacement, in which case… here we go again.
Meanwhile, the competitors churn out their micro-improvement updates on the same old, same old. Or do Roombas actually map their environment now?
Jason Roberts says
According to this, they are down to “fine-tuning” and we will see it in the summer of 2016. So make other plans for this Christmas.
Javier Lopez says
Thanks. Will do. I still wish these companies wouldn’t hype a major release like this until the fine tuning is done.
Great blog by the way!
I see a lot of upside to the Dyson 360 eye. The fact it will vacuum as powerfully as advertised will offset any height or battery run-time issues. I currently have a D80 Neato, and it works great! The issue it has is uneven surfaces. If you have an area rug on top of carpet, the unit can run down the edge (half on the area rug, half off) and that allows one wheel to spin on the carpet side. It stays on path, but over time destroys carpet. It ruined mine. The 360 eye has tracks. It can eliminate this issue and climb area rugs with pads easily (i speculate).
The height of the unit won’t let is get under stuff like the lower profile Roomba and Neato. I can live with that. Think of the fact that this unit can cover every square inch of open space in your room with near upright power? That’s the help I need. When I use my standard upright, I probably miss 50% of the room because I’m in a hurry and only hit the busy spots. The 360 eye will hit all the spots I need. If I need to get under chairs, I’ll prep the room and move the stuff. All else I use Neato.
Bruce Kerr says
After anxiously waiting over a year for the Eye 360 to be released in Canada, we bought one on the release date (July 23, 2016) and returned it within 24 hours. It cost $1250 CDN. The machine performed as advertised, but here is why it did not suit our home. The beater bar snagged on the fringe of our carpet and the vacuum shut down. A TV stand in the basement has a slight slope on the front at floor level. One of the track wheel assemblies got up on the slop (about 3/4″ high) while the other wheel stayed on the carpet. It could not extract itself. The 360 also went under the back of our Lazy Boy recliner which has a low metal bar running along the floor at the back and it could not get out. I was also disappointed with how noisy it is. It came into the living room while we were watching TV and even with turning the volume well up, we could not discern what people were saying. It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to charge and will run for about 45 minutes. In an ideal wide-open room it is supposed to work in squares about 3m by 3m. With various things in the room, it must abandon this pattern. They say it knows where it is going, but I was left thinking that the software programming left something to be desired. Sometimes when it encountered an object in its way, it went across the room to work when, if it had wisely used its 360 vision, it could have gone around that object, finished the area, and saved time by not having to go back later. By my estimate, it would take 8-9 charges to complete the main floor of our house. I powered it off when when it went back to its dock (it had difficulty finding it even though it was only 2-3 m away with nothing blocking its vision or path) so we could go to bed. The next morning at its scheduled start time, it went back and starting doing the areas it had done the previous evening. Perhaps if I had just paused it instead of powering it down, it would have continued from where it had left off. If you are considering this vacuum, I would check that out. It is odd that you can set start times for it each day, but you cannot set end times. It has a very small collection tank. It was 1/3 full after one cleaning cycle. As it does such good job of getting everything in its path, I would assume it could go longer on subsequent cleanings. The various ways it got stuck were the main reason we returned it, but it had one other annoying feature. If you want a really good job, you pick up waste paper baskets, move clothes hampers onto the bed, etc. Look around your home and see just how many small items you would want to relocate off the floor. Perhaps I was misinformed, but I was told a year ago that this machine would be the only one that could go into corners. It is round. It cannot. In spite of the cleaning bar going right across the machine, it still leaves a tiny strip along walls that it cannot get to and a little more in the corners. I hope my comments help you make your own decision. Perhaps you do not have fringe on your rugs or other other situations in which it can get stuck. We asked for a 30 day “no questions asked” return policy and we were glad we did. This is leading edge technology and, no doubt, the way of the future. In my opinion, there needs to be some improvements before I will try this product again.
Jason Roberts says
Thanks for the heads-up Bruce. The 360 will soon be available in US as well.