Dyson has been teasing a robot vacuum for more than a decade. Two years ago, it finally unveiled one—but it wasn't available in the U.S.
Today in New York, Dyson introduced the 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner to Americans. Already on sale in Japan, the Eye will finally be available to U.S consumers on August 1 at an initial price of $999. With that kind of a price tag, Dyson is showing how confident it is in the 360 Eye's engineering.
We've been following this automatic floor cleaner since IFA Berlin 2014. The titular 360° camera on top drew our eye as a new way for robot vacuums to navigate through rooms.
As Mike Aldred, Dyson's head of robotics, put it, "Navigation is critical because it uses so much power." He continued on to explain why the camera is used to ensure the Eye does not go over the same spot twice, because it's inefficient. If you're skeptical that the Eye will cover your whole house, the unit uploads a map of where it has been to your smartphone.
While companies like iRobot,Miele, and LG have all experimented with camera-based navigation, none of them have taken the 360 Eye's tall and narrow stance. Based on our experience testing robot vacuums, it looks like Dyson has chosen to focus on cleaning between table legs rather than under couches.
Dyson also decided to buck the trend by not having side brushes. Instead, all the cleaning is done by a central brushroll that runs the full width of the machine. There are also two sets of bristles: one for carpets and one for hardwood floors.
Basically, Dyson took the best cleaning elements from its regular-sized vacuums and placed it in the Eye. The battery life is also improved from the initial version. Whereas the Eye that debuted in 2014 only could clean for 20 minutes, Dyson says the version we're getting in the U.S. will have 45 minutes of cleaning time. Should your home need more than that to clean, this Dyson will return to the dock, charge to 80%, and start off where it left off.
Despite how it differs from the competition, Dyson has impressed us in the past with its clever engineering, so we're excited to get the 360 Eye into our testing labs.