Dyson recently revealed a “top secret” project she’s been working on that involves robots for performing household chores.
While it already has some experience with robotics thanks to the 360 Heurist robovac, the British company says it plans to deploy new engineering teams in the UK and Singapore tasked with developing a range of indigenous robots.
Jake Dyson, son of the company’s founder, James Dyson, touched on the company’s roadmap in a video (below) filmed at its base in the Wiltshire countryside, 70 miles west of London.
Although he described the robotics project as top-secret, Dyson acknowledged that for the company to attract top engineers – aiming to hire 700 in total – it needed to lift the lid on its ambitions in the increasingly competitive sector.
So the video provides a glimpse into the many home robots under development. One is holding the dinner plate and another is holding a soft toy. Admittedly, such efforts hardly seem groundbreaking, but the video’s inclusion of some pixelated footage suggests the company prefers to keep its best work out of sight for now.
During a tour of one of the company’s existing robot-focused facilities, Dyson takes us to the “arm room” and “perception lab,” where several engineers give a few words about their work.
“We tried to achieve something very complex that no one has achieved yet,” says one of the engineers. Comments like this suggest Dyson’s business is off, but if you can weed it out and come up with really useful bots capable of efficiently performing a range of household tasks, the rewards could be huge.
What she doesn’t want is a repeat of the difficulties she faced with her proposed electric car, a project she unveiled in 2017 but abandoned two years later after spending an estimated $3 billion. James Dyson said at the time that his team had made a “cool” electric car but that the company had decided to end development because it was “not commercially viable”.
The field of robotics obviously presents a different kind of challenge, but with Dyson having the advantage of being able to apply its current research to developing new home appliances, it appears to have a more realistic chance of making tangible progress in its latest endeavour.
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