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News Link • Inventions

Dyson Releases the Eye, a Robot Vacuum With a 360-Degree Camera

•, By Margaret Rhodes
Though iRobot released Roomba, the first autonomous sucking machine, in 2002, Dyson has been content to lay back, in hopes of ironing out some nagging limitations. "We didn't want to put out a gimmick," Sir James tells WIRED. He says that meant inventing a new way for the vacuum to navigate. "Accurate navigation is the key to cleaning properly," says Dyson. "I don't just mean in coverage, but in terms of not going over the same spot twice, because if you do that you're wasting the battery's power." Put differently: Dyson didn't want to release just any robotic vacuum cleaner. He wanted one that could do the chore as well as its human counterparts.

The Eye hinges on a 360-degree camera that views the room at a 45 degree angle and takes 30 pictures per second. Those photos become a live map of the room. To get started, the Eye undocks itself from a charging station affixed to the wall, near the floor. The robot triangulates its position in the room, finds the center, and starts spiraling outward.

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