It only took them 16 years but Dyson has created a Roomba competitor. It promises "the most powerful suction of any robot vacuum" and comes equipped with 360-degree camera to help navigate. You know it's futuristic because they used a man with a British accent to narrate the demo video.
The fatal flaw: How is it supposed to navigate my floors if it doesn't have a cat in a shark costume sitting on top?
Wired reports that Dyson just announced the 360 Eye, which'll be available next spring starting in Japan (of course). The Roomba has been around since 2002, and all the while Dyson has been working on a better competitor than the multi-thousand-dollar model they pulled from production at the last moment back in 2001. Sir James Dyson wants you to understand that he put a lot of bloody work into this thing:
"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."
He was even harsher re: CERTAIN UNNAMED COMPETITORS talking to Bloomberg Businessweek: "Most robotic vacuums don't see their environment, have little suction, and don't clean properly. They are gimmicks." You see, the camera allows the device to map out any given room and methodically cleans it in a spiral pattern.
Of course it'll also be able to see you carelessly dropping potato chip shards on the carpets it's already cleaned, so let's hope Dyson programmed in some basic laws of robotics. Otherwise your toes are likely not safe. But of course your best course of action is, when in doubt, respect the machines.
Gotta love appliance companies, doing what they can for that second shift.