Dyson recently revealed a “top secret” project it is working on that involves robots for housework.
Although the British company already has some experience in robotics thanks to its 360 Heurist Robovac, it says it plans to deploy new engineering teams in the UK and Singapore who will be tasked with developing a range of household robots.
Jake Dyson, son of company founder James Dyson, detailed the company’s roadmap in a video (below) filmed at its headquarters in Wiltshire, about 70 miles west of London.
Dyson gives a glimpse into secret robot prototypes that appear to be doing chores
Although he described the robotics project as top secret, Dyson acknowledged that in order to attract top engineers – it aims to hire 700 in total – the company had to air its ambitions in the increasingly competitive sector.
So the video offers a glimpse of some of the domestic robots under development. One is clutching a dinner plate and another is handling a stuffed animal. Granted, such efforts hardly seem groundbreaking, but the inclusion of some pixelated shots in the video suggests the company may prefer to put its best work aside for now.
During a tour of one of the company’s current robot-focused facilities, Dyson takes us into the “arm room” and “perception lab,” where several engineers share a few words about their work.
“We’re trying to do something that’s very, very complex and nobody’s been able to do it before,” says one engineer. Comments like this suggest Dyson has his job cut out, but if he manages to create genuinely useful robots capable of efficiently completing a range of household tasks, the rewards could be huge.
What it doesn’t want is a repeat of the troubles it had with its proposed electric car, a project it unveiled in 2017 but abandoned two years later after spending an estimated $3 billion. James Dyson said at the time his team had built a “fantastic” electric car, but the company decided to halt development because it was “not commercially viable”.
The field of robotics clearly presents a different kind of challenge, but with Dyson having the advantage of being able to apply its existing research to the development of new home appliances, it seems to have a more realistic chance of making tangible progress with its latest endeavor.