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.