Dyson teases the ‘project N223’ robotic vacuum cleaner (video)
We’ve seen plenty of robotic wandering vacuum cleaners before. However revolutionary vac makers Dyson are teasing something much more significant than a me-too device. The firm has published a number of teasers on Facebook and YouTube in the last few hours offering glimpses of a product which will be launched on 4th September.
Today on Facebook, Dyson published an interesting looking photograph which reveals what we expect to be a close up shot of a component of the new product. You can see the photo above. As an educated guess this looks like some kind of optical lens sensor. If the product is indeed a robotic vacuum then it could be this which helps it navigate your floorspaces. Accompanying the image a Dyson marketer wrote “Dyson engineers are making tracks toward launching a new technology. What have they invented this time?”
More is revealed in the new YouTube video on the official Dyson channel. For a start we get a project name, ‘Dyson project N223’. Also the video description informs us that Dyson has been working a long time, using many resources, to get this product rolling out of the door. “16 years. 200 engineers. £28m investment. The result? Tell us what you think it is,” it says.
The video does show us more of what to expect, but only in very brief glimpses that hint at the functionality. We see what we assume to be the device under testing with various engineers tinkering with it. If you stop the video at the right moments you can see things like an object collision detection system which would be used by a Roomba like device (see stills above). Also it looks like we can see the view from the device mounted camera.
These images lead us to believe that ‘project N223’ is indeed some kind of autonomous vacuum or surface cleaner. Pocket Lint reports that Dyson had previously been on the brink of launching a robotic vacuum cleaner in 2001 but cancelled the project due to the weight and expense involved. Perhaps technology has now caught up well enough for the ideas to work out practically and commercially to Dyson’s satisfaction.