Limiting Dyson to vacuum cleaners would be very simple. The Briton has also tried his hand at hair dryers, hairdressers, lighting, cars…and he intends to add a new rope, this time robotic, to his industrial bow.
When we talk about Dyson, we necessarily think of colorful and very expensive vacuum cleaners (mostly vacuum cleaners). However, the British company founded in 1983 by Sir James Dyson has many areas of expertise. We remember, for example, supersonic fans and hair dryers without visible blades, or clean air purifiers. Other non-air products have also appeared from R&D offices in Malmsbury or Singapore, such as the Lightcycle desk lamp or the Airwrap hair straightener. And what about the headphones area air purifier?
But we have to believe that this is not enough for the English industry giant who has just unveiled a massive 2.75 billion pound (3.21 billion euros) plan to develop and accelerate the growth of its robotics subsidiary. As always, the ambition remains as Dyson plans to create the UK’s largest and most advanced robotics research center, the company announced during the Conference Conference on Robotics and Automation, currently taking place in Philadelphia.
The envelope of the first 700 million euros
And since we have to start somewhere, £600m (just over €700m) will be spent this year. The money will first be used to adapt the facilities at Hullavington Airfield that were originally intended to develop the Dyson electric car that never finally saw the light of day. The first wave of 250 engineers specializing in robotics (but also AI, digital vision, etc.) will be recruited to take over the buildings before another 700 join them in the next five years. Note that it will not be Sir James Dyson at the helm of this new entity, but his son Jake.
This isn’t the first time Dyson has experimented with robotics since there are already several robotic vacuum cleaners in its catalog: the 360 Eye and the 360 Heurist. However, the direction Dyson is taking is revealed by a few rare footage (and video) showing machines with imposing booms not unlike what can be found on car assembly lines, for example. But make no mistake about it, future Dyson robots are well designed for home use, because we can clearly distinguish between thinner tweezers, but also suction tips on some. The idea is to free everyone from the tedious work of cleaning, washing and undoubtedly many other tedious tasks (dishes, ironing, etc.).
At the moment, we don’t know much about Dyson’s new ambitions, so it would be extremely bold to bet on the release date (and price) for a possible android version armed with the V15 Detect Absolute. But it’s a safe bet that until the first concept is revealed, or even a visual of a usable device, speculation will go well.