Continuing my search for the best robot vacuum cleaner: I don’t know about anybody else, but I feel like the world may or may not be waiting for the Dyson robot vacuum cleaner (a.k.a. the Dyson DC06). Maybe it was vaporware? Maybe it was set to compete with the iRobot Roomba? According to the sources I can find, it was supposed to feature more than 70 sensors. Controlling the robot and vacuum cleaning were three computers. The computers are programmed to learn the layout of any room and then calculate how to vacuum it without missing a single spot.
While it is vacuuming, the robot was supposed to make ten calculations a second. Like Rumbas, it would find its charger automatically and charge itself when it had completed sweeping a room. Strangely, Dyson programmed the DC06 to have moods and display them with colored lights on its display. Blue means “I am happy.” Green means “I am finding my way around an obstacle.” Red means “I am feeling threatened by my environment.”
You might be scratching your head over what could make a robot vacuum cleaner feel threatened and I am joining you. Maybe if it gets stuck? Maybe it’s like a pinball machine and has a tilt sensor? On the plus side, it’s got the Dyson vacum cleaner tech, which is dubbed “dual-cyclone technology” and makes for vacuums which need no bag.
Fortunately for us, there are other bagless vacuum cleaners, because the expected price tag on the Dyson DC60 is expected to be a whopping $6000. The name DC60 tickles me. It makes the thing sound like an airplane instead of a vacuum cleaner. I wonder if all the Dyson products have similar names. Me, I’ll stick to my much more affordable iRobot Roomba 500 Series thank you very much!
Samsung has announced a new robot vacuum cleaner, which obviously will compete with the iRobot Roomba. The robot comes with up to 39 sensors to interact with its environment. There is an added feature called I-Moderators, which I’m having trouble understanding from the description, but would appear to be much like the virtual walls or lighthouses.
Like the Sumsung Furot robot vacuum cleaner, the Tango has cameras, which the press release says helps the robot map the room and also to get the room clean. The cameras refresh 30 times per second. The Tango also comes with “crash sensors” to help prevent collisions.
Looks like it comes with a remote. And is for foot lovers.
Last week at TEDMED, iRobot, makers of of the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, announced the creation of a healthcare division. iRobot CEO, Colin Angle, presented on the future of robots in healthcare. The new iRobot division will concentrate on developing assistive technology. In particular, they envision helping seniors to be more independent longer by providing robot assistants or nurses.
By doing so, iRobot hopes to “add a million years of independent living” to their customers. They hope to build robots that can help seniors with household chores and even see robots being able to help with administration of medicine. That seems like a pretty huge leap from an iRobot, which is a robot vacuum cleaner, but it sounds like a great idea.
I wonder what scale they will be working on. For example, it isn’t much of a leap to imagine a robot that you can put on a kitchen counter that will sort pills and alert a person that it is time to take their afternoon pills. I could even see hooking it up to a phone line and having it call a relative or social worker if the senior neglects to take their medicine.
I’ve also seen in recent months that robots are being developed to lift disabled patients from wheelchairs to beds. I wonder what other sorts of things a robot could help someone with.
For me, I’ll stick to robot vacuum cleaners for now, thank you.
The iRobot press release may be found here.