Technology

Dyson could be about to solve the biggest issue with robot vacuum cleaners

Dyson wants to build a robotic vacuum cleaner that can scale – and clean – your stairs, new patents suggest. The company, founded by entrepreneur James Dyson, is no stranger to innovation …its most recent vacuum includes a laser to illuminate dust and grime that’s invisible to the human eye, for example.

The latest patent, unearthed by the team at TechRadar, shows a three-wheeled design in a “tri-star” configuration. It’s this fidget spinner-like design that allows the vacuum to clamber its way up stairs. A mechanical arm is also fitted to the back of the vacuum to provide support as it crawls (it should also stop it rolling backwards and breaking at the foot of your staircase too).

Dyson launched its first robot vacuum cleaner back in 2014, dubbed Dyson 360 Eye. It relied on tank treads to trundle around your rooms and used a companion app on iPhone and Android to schedule cleaning, tweak settings, and more. As the name suggests, it was capable of 360-degree viewing angles to help find the best route. IP sensors were used to stop the vacuum knocking over your furniture.

The follow-up model, Dyson 360 Heurist, launched in 2019 and is still available to buy now. It has a very similar design to the first entry into the range, but adds LED lights to help the camera discern distances and shapes in dimly-lit or dark rooms.

Of course, there’s no guarantee this stair-climbing system will be included in the next iteration of the Dyson 360. Vast multi-national companies like Dyson constantly research, test, and patent new technologies …but not all of these make it into finished products. This could be because the technology is too expensive, difficult to produce at the scales needed to sell in countries around the world, or that it doesn’t work well enough to be included quite yet.

After all, Dyson had hoped to launch its first robotic vacuum back in 2001, the DC06, but it was famously pulled by James Dyson from the production line, who believed it was still too heavy and slow.

When approached by TechRadar about the patent, a spokesperson for Dyson said: “We file a lot of patents, but we never comment on technologies we may or may not launch in the future.”

Although robotic vacuum cleaners are already hugely popular, with brands like Roomba now household names, none have been able to conquer a humble flight of stairs. For those living in houses… that can be a problem as the idea of buying two models, one for downstairs and one for each floor, is pretty costly just to avoid the hassle of vacuuming.

And that still doesn’t solve the issue of cleaning the stairs themselves.

With any luck, this latest innovation from Dyson will hit the market very soon and will make robotic vacuums that can travel anywhere in the home a reality.


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