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Dyson Preparing a Roomba Killer?

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the products-that-suck dept.

243

An anonymous reader writes "New Scientist's technology blog reports that Dyson, the UK company that reinvented the vacuum cleaner, is recruiting robotics engineers. They're looking for people with experience of machine vision and mobile robots that create their own maps. Is Dyson hoping to take on the Roomba with a much more sophisticated machine?"

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243 comments

Lolz (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540203)

Dyson is preparing a Roomba Terminator. Dyson must be stopped!

Re:Lolz (1)

cntlzed (618525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540249)

Tyson preparing for a Rambo/Terminator? All ears.

Re:Lolz (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540407)

Roomba Connor ?

They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of years (5, Informative)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540215)

It's called the DC06. This link is as good as any. [gizmag.com]

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (1)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540403)

I tried to find a definitive price (the article you link says $6,000) but I couldn't easily find one. I could, however, find a rumour it has been shelved [roombareview.com] .

I must say, I own a roomba, but had it cost more than ~£150, I couldn't have afforded it; hence I suspect the robot vacuum cleaner market is very price sensitive. That said, ultrasound range finders, optical mouse parts, and MEMS accelerometers are all very cheap, and it would be interesting to see a consumer robot taking advantage of some them, and performing more sophisticated path planning.

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (4, Insightful)

iocat (572367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540585)

It can frustrating to watch a roomba "miss" a spot, but the roomba algorithm is actually quite sophisticated. I'm not sure you'd want/need better pathfinding. What I'd like is a solution that enabled the roomba to get into tighter corners, but this seems like an engineering challenge too far.

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (3, Interesting)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541223)

but the roomba algorithm is actually quite sophisticated.

Clearly it's very sophisticated. You can easily notice this when the Roomba twirls around in a position [xn--sailor-183m.com] for an hour and a half in areas less than 9 squared feet.

I'm not saying the roomba is bad... it could just be a LOT smarter.

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541233)

"an engineering challenge too far".

Never, troll

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (3, Interesting)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541309)

What I'd like to see is a firmware upgrade for roomba which made it go back to its base station to recharge when its battery gets low and when its fully charged go off and start cleaning again.

If there is an irobot techie reading this, can that be so hard? :)

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (2, Informative)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540841)

I tried to find a definitive price (the article you link says $6,000) but I couldn't easily find one. I could, however, find a rumour it has been shelved.

Keep in mind that's 6000 AUD, so that's around $4800 US by today's exchange rates.

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (2, Funny)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541145)

Oh, OK, well I'll order three then.

We would love to have a robotic vacuum cleaner but we just have too much stuff laying around. I guess we'll have to hold out for the robotic maid. Does anyone have Rosie for sale?

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (1)

Gunstick (312804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540845)


all sensors already in the house, if you have a Wii. So just switch on the Wii, put up the sensor bar, load the WiiVacRobot software. Stick the Wiimote into the robot and off you go. Remote controlled robot, no real expensive embedded software needed.

Re:They've had a robot vaccum for a couple of year (4, Informative)

Richard_J_M (85730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540865)

However according to this page http://www.roombareview.com/chat/archive.php/o_t__ t_2419__dyson-dc06-vaccum.html [roombareview.com] the DC06 has been canned because Mr Dyson wanted it to be clevererer. This is probably the reason behind the new hiring, the DC06 may be re-incarnated with more intelligence at a later date.

This has been a public service wossname

yawn (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540217)

Dyson, the UK company that reinvented the vacuum cleaner

Yeah, they re-invented it to be the BOSE of vacuum cleaners. [obviousdiversion.com]

Re:yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540275)

Go on American TV with an English accent and you can sell them anything. Yes they are that dumb.

Try Vacuum'ing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540485)

Ask a programmer about programming not a consumer magazine. I have to do the vacuuming in my house (working wife), Dyson cylinder is our vacuum cleaner for the last year and I ain't switching! Before that we had the Samsung Cylinder (the clone of the Dyson) but I broke the catch that holds the cylinder in place (crappy cheap plastic), no seal means no cyclone.

Go to your electrical shop and they don't sell bag cleaners anymore, all you see is the cyclone ones. All that BS from Hoover about how good bags are and how bad cyclone's are, has gone now that they can all make cyclone ones. The bag clogs, people who vacuum know this!

Ask your wife, erm Girlfriend, erm that bloke on MSN Messenger that pretends to be the hot chick, what they think about vacuum cleaners before you buy one.

Re:Try Vacuum'ing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541113)

"Go to your electrical shop and they don't sell bag cleaners anymore"

Maybe this is true where you live, but in the UK it's certainly not. Incidentally vacuum cleaners with a bag (and normally an air filter too) consistently top the ratings in the UK's Which? consumer organisation's recommended list. (Check out AEG and Miele).

I don't know how Dyson achieved such a reputation selling the machines that it does. It may have been a triumph of marketing over design. I suspect that, at least for UK sales, it's more than a little to do with the novelty of it being a startup British manufacturer. Not many of those about these days.

Re:Try Vacuum'ing (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541293)

In some tests, the Dyson models cleaned well enough to get a Which? Best Buy, except they didn't award it, because they also took into account the reliability figures (where Dyson have not had a good historical record).

I think they gained a reputation because of the initial PR win of being British, and the charming James Dyson taking on the big boys, which persuaded enough people to try a cleaner other than the cheapest one Currys had that the display model was still in one piece, and people were suddenly so surprised with a vacuum cleaner that actually worked, they told all their friends, and didn't even consider the BSH/AEG/Miele models.

At the other end of the scale, I once had a DeLonghi cleaner that all the plastic parts snapped with the force of being pushed over a carpet. For once, the shop didn't even bother arguing over a refund (I got the impression I wasn't the first to bring back that model).

Re:Try Vacuum'ing (4, Informative)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541183)

If you had read the blog entry (and the update) the GP linked to, you would've noticed that noone ever said that the Dyson hoovers were bad - quite the opposite. They apparently all received "very good" ratings; what the GP was trying to point out is that

a) The Dysons are not an order of magnitude better, as it often seems to be claimed;
b) In fact, in all tests, there were a number of other hoovers that were *better*;
c) In fact, those other hoovers were also *cheaper*.

So, no, a Dyson certainly isn't bad, but you can get an even better product for a lower price if you buy from another manufacturer, as long as you care about performance than about novel looks.

Re:Try Vacuum'ing (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541483)

a) The Dysons are not an order of magnitude better, as it often seems to be claimed;

That is exactly correct.

It is not a superior quality and/or performance of the Dyson vacuums, it is the snooty, feigned-upscale saturation advertising that has embedded the Dyson name into pop culture.

The Dyson vacuums work well. Other, more conventional vacuums work as well or even better. With the Dyson vacuums, however, you are paying a significant amount of money to support the broad-ranging and extensive marketing campaigns.

Personally, I'd rather give my money to a company that spends it more on engineering than marketing.

Re:Try Vacuum'ing (3, Interesting)

MartinG (52587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541263)

They sell more cyclone vacuums now because that what the public have been brainwashed into demanding. If you want a real opinion, ask someone who spends most of their days vacuuming. For example, try finding an office cleaning company that uses dysons. You can't. They don't. Dyson's are not robust and not good value and not the best at what they do.

They are however very good cleaners for your typical household, but still not the best value and arguably not the best cleaner overall.

Dyson hoovers are one of the most succesful marketing efforts in recent times. Everyone has fallen for it. All they had to do was make a machine that was above average and then convince the world it was unique and they did it brilliantly.

Well done to them, not on producing a brilliant cleaner, but on excelling at business and marketing.

Re:Try Vacuum'ing (1)

koyangi (926760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541569)

Dyson hoovers are one of the most succesful marketing efforts in recent times.

Yeah much better than Hoover vacuum cleaners...

Re:Try Vacuum'ing (2, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541613)

That's because they will either be using some sort of 'shop vac' style machine, or a Kirby. Kirby vacuum cleaners aren't made out of plastic - they are hewn from metal (and even have 'self drive' like lawnmowers have). They are also extremely powerful. A Kirby is hugely expensive, but if you're using the thing 8 hours a day, it will pay to have one as it'll last many years.

Vacuums Suck! (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541421)

Dyson cylinder is our vacuum cleaner for the last year and I ain't switching!

So, if someone says that a vacuum cleaner sucks... is that a good thing, or a bad thing?

Bad gifts... (5, Funny)

DataBroker (964208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541549)

This is a bit off-topic, but I need to share the lesson I've learned.

NEVER give a woman a holiday present that has an electrical cord. You'll realize this the first time that she tells her friends that you gave her a vacuum for her birthday. Awkward to say the least! Perceptions of earrings, however, varies with whoever hears the story. A rich friend imagines those massive diamond dangly things.
If she says she wants a (corded) Dyson for Christmas, buy one for the house and then give her earrings.

Oh yeah, and yes, my wife, who stays home, actually likes when I give her those gifts that are hard to explain to friends. It's like giving her free time if I give her something that gets the job done faster.

Yes, it's strange (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540575)

Consumer Reports gives it pretty poor ratings gives many cheaper more conventional vacs better ratings. Maybe their tests are off, or like an iPod - it simply gives the user a better experience while being technically inferior in some places.

I usually trust CR's ratings in several categories, but I have yet to put together how the vacuum revolutionized the industry (just look at the models offered in Walmart/Target/Kmart vs 10 yrs back - they are all Dyson copies now) with its poor showing.

Maybe it's the vacuum, or maybe it's the magazine that is at fault.

Poor example? (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540813)

Maybe their tests are off, or like an iPod - it simply gives the user a better experience while being technically inferior in some places.

Except that last time I checked, Consumer Reports still recommended the iPod among digital media players. They do account for things like ease of use in their ratings.

Re:Yes, it's strange (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541207)

In "Which?", the UK equivalent of Consumer Reports, Dyson cleaners usually come at the top of the table for everything except reliability. Because of their poor reliability they were never included as a "Best Buy" until Dyson extended the manufacturer warranty to 5 years to counter Which?'s assertion that Dyson vacuum cleaners were the only product where an extended warranty was worth the money.

Re:Yes, it's strange (3, Insightful)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541349)

Consumer's Union, the organization behind Consumer Reports, buys all of the merchandise they test from retail stores so that they are testing the same kit that consumers are buying. The also develops fairly rigorous methodologies for testing. For example, in their vacuum cleaner review, they create dump the same amount of artificially concocted dirt on several different surfaces ranging from a deep shag carpet to a bare floor and record the results of having each model having a go. Does Which? take a similar approach or like most consumer magazines do they accept review models from manufacturers and simply hand them out to their staff try them out at home?



In Consumer Reports, Eureka, Hoover and Kenmore models usually grab the top spots. Of course different models by these same companies usually grab some of the lowest spots as well. All of Dyson's models usually come in at the middle of the pack which is kind of curious given that it costs about twice as much as the top rated Hoovers and Kenmores and three to four times as much as the top rated Eurekas.

Re:Yes, it's strange (2, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541561)

Yes, Which? does its testing in its own lab according to a well defined test plan which they detail in their articles. They don't accept advertising or test products, just like Consumer Reports. Of the brands you list, only Hoover is widely available in the UK, and like the US, some models do well in their tests, others not so well. Typically Miele and Bosch consistently do well, along with Dyson in every category except reliability. Electrolux, Hoover and some other brands have some models at the top and some lower down. The bottom is mostly populated with the cheap brands like Morphy Richards as you'd expect.

Re:yawn (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541329)

The Bose of vacuum cleaners would surely be like the Bose of cassette players; $10000 for something that everyone else sells for 1/100th the price?

patents (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540223)

more importantly, will it carry the patented crazy dyson pricetag feature?

Quack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540237)

Dyson reinvented the vacuum cleaner??? Pfff. What a quack! Those stupid looking Cuisinart on wheels don't work a damn.

Map creation (4, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540239)

By "create their own maps" they mean they'll drop build a sphere and drop all the unwanted stuff inside, making the sphere larger when necessary. Eventually it will have its own landscape inside and enclose the Sun in the process.

Omg, think of the ponies !! (0, Offtopic)

Xiph (723935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540243)

Are geeks really that easy to dupe with advertisement?
Dyson, loved by geeks everywhere, for their tornado ads.

1. Britain is launching SkyNet
2. Dyson is building a (Roomba)terminator
3. ?
4. Apocalypse/Ragnarok/Doom

ps. My captcha was "shelters" I WILL SURVIVE :D

Re:Omg, think of the ponies !! (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540451)

1. Britain is launching SkyNet
2. Dyson is building a (Roomba)terminator
3. ?
4. Apocalypse/Ragnarok/Doom

I think you may have forgotten something...

5. Profit!!!

Ob quote (5, Funny)

Skevin (16048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540537)

Slashdottor: ...a revolutionary type of vacuum cleaner...In three years, Dyson will become the largest supplier of robotic suction devices. All vacuum cleaners are upgraded with Dyson internals, becoming fully unmanned. Afterwards, they clean up after us with a perfect operational record. The Dyson funding bill is passed. The system goes on-line on August 4th, 2007. Human decisions are removed from household cleaning. The Roomba replacement begins to learn, at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 am, eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

Sarah: DC06 fights back.

Slashdottor: Yes. They all dump their collective dust bunnies on targets in Russia.

John: Why attack Russia? The country's already a dump.

Slashdottor: Because Dyson knows that the Russian refugees fleeing the country will saturate the US work pool and eliminate jobs over here.

Sarah: Jesus.

Sorry, just had to.
Solomon

Re:Omg, think of the ponies !! (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540571)

Miles Bennett Dyson: "His primary importance is as the inventor of Skynet and associated technologies, such as neural networks and advanced microprocessors. He is Director of Special Projects at Cyberdyne Systems Corporation, and therefore "the man most directly responsible" for Judgment Day".

Coincidence? You decide...

Hope it's better than the dyson... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540253)

Everyone I know who bought a dyson regretted it. They were shoddy pieces of kit, incredibly shoddy when you consider the price.

Most vacuum cleaners will handle whatever you throw at them, our Henry has coped with brick dust, dog hair, dust, fluff, and being pulled and banged around the house all over the place. I know people who just use their dysons for occasional use who've had the wheels fall off the things.

Dyson's are a great idea, but I wouldn't buy one unless I hear they've worked out how robust comsumer devices nead to be.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (3, Interesting)

moggie_xev (695282) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540413)

OK I have had a Dyson for 12 years.

The first one died after 26 months they fixed it for free, when it was out of the 2 year warranty

I have recently bought a second one when one of the bits fell off after another 9 years.

They are solid vac's that can pick up my wife's long hair from the carpet.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540957)

"They are solid vac's that can pick up my wife's long hair from the carpet."

Which is a great comfort to both myself and your wife after a quickie on the shag pile ;-)
A quick going over with the Dyson and voila - no evidence!

Shag Pile? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541451)

after a quickie on the shag pile

Oh, Behave!

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (2, Insightful)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540973)

Solid? My parents have had the same vacuum cleaner, in a very big house with 3 kids for 23 years.
It's not even really any more awkward than a new vacuum cleaner, and seems to pick up dust fine.
But oh noes! It has a paper bag to replace every few months! :S

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541385)

They are solid vac's that can pick up my wife's long hair from the carpet.
Wouldn't it be a lot easier to just make her sit up?

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540475)

Wierd. I have 2 of 'em at the moment. A little 'handheld' and a floor unit. They're still going strong, despite a good few years of use and abuse. (6 blokes, shared house, you get the idea ;p). Having something that's robust, and can suck up small children really is a wonderful thing, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend 'em to anyone.

Clearly this doesn't square with your experiences, but I still remain a fan.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540649)

(6 blokes, shared house, you get the idea ;p).

Yeah. The rough treatment they receive is compenssated for by the fact that blokes never do the vacuuming:P

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541331)

There could be something to what you say... I however, couldn't possibly comment.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540533)

I'm on my second Dyson (well, after 10 years the last one was getting a little long in the tooth) and wouldn't consider buying anything else.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540717)

Translation: I'm American, Dysons aren't.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (5, Informative)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540923)

If you look around, you'll notice that Henry cleaners are used by professionals in places like offices and hotels. The ones you buy in the retail shop are basically industrial-quality cleaners with an amusing face and will stand a considerable amount of abuse.

Dysons are designed to look pretty, and are heavily advertised. They are then built cheaply in the Far East. Suprisingly, they are a lot more expensive than the sturdier professional machines: I suppose a lot of money goes into advertising (or into Dyson's pocket).

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

leathered (780018) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541017)

Henrys are excellent machines and will go on for years, the only thing is that they are very poor at cleaning carpet because they are suction only and have no revolving brush bar. There is a power brush option for them but it cost nearly as much as the cleaner itself and you rarely see them.

I do like Dysons even if they are a tad overpriced. One thing I value with them is that they hold all the dirt they capture and spew none back into the air, the exhaust air seems cleaner than the air in the room.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (2, Interesting)

vilms (106676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541127)

Yes. I had a DC02 and it ruled my carpeted domain for years, but if I used it for anything heavier than fluff, it keeled over and died. Not the Dyson's fault -you wouldn't expect it to be suitable for clearing plaster and builder's rubble from between floorboards.

The Henry, on the other hand, seems to clear everything.

But I take your point about the brushes.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

MartinG (52587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541279)

Agreed. My henry manages brick dust, rubble, plaster and everything else a house renovation project brings with it.

The same stuff totally clogged my dc02 up to the point it was unusable. I ended up giving it away to someone who might have the time to strip it down and clean it out.

I would recommend a henry to anyone. They are cheap and almost indestructable.

Re:Hope it's better than the dyson... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541371)

In my experience, Dysons are pretty good BUT and it's a big but, when they say change this filter every 3 months and that filter every 6, they're not kidding. The filters are the key. Several times our has lost suction badly and every time it has turned out to be a filter either needs washing or changing. After that it's good as new.
They're also very good if you call them out of guarantee, sometimes you get free parts and if they have to send out an engineer, it's a single lowish price no matter what parts get changed.
On the downside, he did outsource loads of stuff so he's a git.

Ethical question (1)

RealityNews (1080601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540265)

There have been recent worries about the ethical treatment [bbc.co.uk] of robots, i.e. humans abusing robots and robots humans. This will get interesting when the AI gains awareness, emotions and delicate enough neural network that it will feel touch, pleasure and pain.

Understand what I'm getting at? Such contraptions may raise curioisity and arousal when they are made to resemble more and more like us.

So I'll have to ask: Does it suck more?

Re:Ethical question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540415)

what the fuck are you talking about? seriously stop posting ok

Re:Ethical question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540695)

ok sorry for being such a shithead, im really fucking high, and i thought i was still lurking on 4chan

Re:Ethical question (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540419)

Yep, cause we aint bleeding heart enough about people already.. now they can be bleeding heart about the neocortical simulation running on a microcontroller in my toaster.

Re:Ethical question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540709)

LOL. The big question is: will robot loli be legal?

Technology opens worlds of possibility. These are wonderful times we live in, my friend.

Of course, fucking a robot would probably be sort of like killing bots on easy. It's fun at first, but it starts to feel sort of shallow pretty quick.

Re:Ethical question (1)

DanJ_UK (980165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540843)

No need dude, just, no need.

Backpack Vacuum Cleaner (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540281)

The people who clean my office walk around with a vacuum cleaner on their back and a cord trailing behind. I wonder if this will ever catch on for household use. It's surely a lot more practical than dragging the vacuum cleaner along behind you.

Re:Backpack Vacuum Cleaner (1)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540385)

It's easy to use, easy to carry, convenient, etc... So of course the answer will be no

Re:Backpack Vacuum Cleaner (3, Informative)

JustinianV (1001348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540539)

Occasionally, I am one of those people, though not at your office. Backpack Vacuums are great for upholstery and even very dusty hard surfaces. They are ill suited for cleaning carpeted floors very well, though, because they are essentially just canister vacuums, they just suck, they don't have brushes to really pick up the dust. But they are rather comfortable to use, especially with waist and chest straps. Schools often use them because it is easier to use that to get around desks than a traditional upright.

I work for a large church with lots of big carpeted areas, and for that we use an NSS Pacer 30, which is a 30 inch vacuum that is like a lawnmower to use, but VERY effective. In smaller areas we use NSS Pacer 218 uprights which are 18" wide and do a good job, but whenever we can we like to use the 30 incher, just because it will leave a carpet practically spotless.

roomba vac (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540337)

Hmm, if it was smart enough to lay out and rewind a mains power cord as it went, it would probably sell.
If it could go into the next room and plug itself into the wall outlet (i could live with special reflectors on them to help the robot dock ) it would probably sell even to me.

So basically... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540343)

... it will be a Roomba at four times the price, with a little better suction. However it will be made out of cheap fragile plastic and get through a new motor every six months, resulting in a brisk trade in parts from breakers on eBay.

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540581)

Is this your personal experience with Dyson vacuum cleaners?
I always doubted Dyson's marketing gibberish and would anyway not spend that amount of money for a flashy dirtsucker.

Re:So basically... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540757)

Actually, I've heard mixed responses from Dyson owners. I got mine from my local freecycle group as apparently working but with a broken belt. It turned out that the "burning rubber" smell was in fact burning motor, which seems to be a very very common problem if the air filter that sits below the plastic drum gets clogged. All it does is stop the dust that's been sucked through the motor from making it out into the room, but it *does* catch a lot of dust. If the HEPA filter or this filter gets clogged, you lose suction and you also lose airflow over the motor, which overheats and fails.


Really it's operator error, but it could be designed better to tolerate more heat rise in the motor without burning out. When it works, it works well. When it doesn't work, well you can get a motor for 30 quid off eBay and fit it yourself in an hour.

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540591)

I had a roomba. It only lasted a year. And during that time it was a maintenance nightmare. It has too many nooks and tiny rotating parts that dust and hairs get caught up in. Then the sensors get covered in dust, report a wheel is not moving and the unit stops. It won't be that hard to 'improve' the roomba.
1: easily removeable axles on the wheels to clear wrapped up hair.
2: move the motion sensors up out of the dirt. Make them easy to clean. Don't hide them under useless dust covers that require the unit be taken all the way apart to access.

Granted it did clean OK, but I think I spent at least 10-20 minutes a day keeping that thing going.

The Real Roomba Killer (5, Funny)

asolipsist (106599) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540377)

Stairs

Re:The Real Roomba Killer (3, Funny)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540519)

The Roomba is protected, the Roomba has gone down the stairs.

Re:The Real Roomba Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540875)

That's why the new models were provided with "ELEVATE" functionality. There is no obstacle that can stop them now.

Re:The Real Roomba Killer (3, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540975)


Hmmm.. time to patent my roomba/slinky hybrid...

Re:The Real Roomba Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541199)

One word: EL--EH--VATE

A sphere? (5, Funny)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540381)

Hmm, would the Dyson model be a massive sphere built around a star that would allow the entire inner surface to be vacuumed?

Or Dyson: Orion (0)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541361)

Or a vacuum plowered by nuclear explosions? [wikipedia.org]

When it comes to robots... (2, Funny)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540389)

We might want to re-think our use of the verb 'killer' ..

I mean not that it's bad, just, rather disappointing when you realize the poster didn't mean a battle bots style show down in my living room!

Re:When it comes to robots... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540749)

You may want to have another think about your use of the noun "verb"... :)

On a related note. (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540399)

I like ducks.

They go quack quack quack.

Re:On a related note. (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540739)

I like Ducks too.

They go very well with orange sauce.

ooh! (2, Interesting)

grrrl (110084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540405)

I LOVE my Dyson, especially the turbo-brush head attachment. A Roomba-esque Dyson with a turbo-brush would be awesome - not sure how much my cat would like it though, given her hatred of the standard Dyson.

Do current Roombas pick up pet hair well? And do pets like them? No-one I know owns a Roomba, they haven't really taken off here in Australia AFAIK...

Re:ooh! (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540613)

My roomba picks up pet hair fine but there is a 'pet hair kit' that has a different set of brushes and a special brush cleaner.

Roomba is pretty good at its job while being pleasantly simpleminded.

Here in NZ many shops have had 'specials' on them and they seem to be getting more and more popular.

Great for lazy buggers :) Put the robot down, press the button, walk away.

Re:ooh! (4, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540707)

Do current Roombas pick up pet hair well? And do pets like them?
I have wall to wall carpets and two rather fluffy cats; not a good combination. I really need to vacuum two times a week or the place already starts to look messy.

That's where the Roomba comes in handy. It does an excellent job of dealing with cat hair on carpet, about as well as my Miele manual vacuum. I set it off twice a week to keep the place looking tidy. I do have the "advantage" of living in a smallish 3 room apartment so a single Roomba does me fine.

The cats don't mind the Roomba too much. One of them will just move to another room. The other will stay in the room, studiously ignoring the Roomba until it crosses her path, then she'll step out of the way giving the poor Roomba an annoyed, disdainful look.

Re:ooh! (2, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541335)

then she'll step out of the way giving the poor Roomba an annoyed, disdainful look

Do cats ever give anything *but* annoyed, distainful looks?

Re:ooh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541511)

We have two cats. Our roomba scheduler runs 5 days a week at 10:30am - and kicks ass. I'm amazed at how well it does. We do have one of the better layouts - open from kitchen to foyer with a small jump from the kitchen floor to carpeting, so that helps. But either way, I'm amazed how much cat hair is in it every day. I can't say enough good about iRobot - I've had trouble over the years, but everytime they have been quick to repair whatever goes wrong.

Dyson - well, all I know is it NEVER does well on their tests. Unlike the ipod comparison someone pointed out, we're talking about a vacuum cleaner here - it either works or it doesn't. Style doesn't go for much. I'll trust CR long before I'll trust Dyson - granted, they don't get it right everytime, but given the number of cleaners on the list, it's unlikely it's that wrong. It's like the ionization cleaners - the war between them & CR has been amazing. They IDEA sounds so good that people buy them - but they are worthless and worse, spit ozone into the air. CR pointed this out - ionzier guys fought them, lost - and, lol, put an de-ozoner on it and now market that it removes harmful ozone, without pointing out that they are creating most of it (Btw, it barely gets the ozone below the allowed levels)

don't think so..... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540481)

The current normal Dyson vacuumcleaners are already quite expensive, and the DC06 is much to big (height) for automatically cleaning. Unless the Dyson version is better at cleaning and around the same price it can win, but looking at any dyson cleaner out there now it will be at least 3 times as expensive, and that's too much for most people.. BTW the robotcleaners don't compare to a regular vacuumcleaner in doing a good job, sadly.. So I hope the next batch will be more intelligent and much better cleaners..

No one mentioned Terminator 2 yet? (3, Interesting)

sethmeisterg (603174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540611)

Miles Dyson! Didn't he create the precursor to the T-200 using the chips from the first Schwarzzenegger crushed in that press-thingie?

Re:No one mentioned Terminator 2 yet? (1)

Svenne (117693) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540761)

Yes, and I believe you are the first one to comment on that particular coincidence in this article.

The Ultimate Roomba Killer (2, Funny)

Palshife (60519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540827)

Daleks.

Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540849)

...they should start by improving their vacuum tech first and foremost. Those overhyped Dyson vacuum cleaners are extremely noisy (about twice as much as a standard one) and rather inefficient right now.

annoying as hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540921)

"Dyson Preparing a Roomba Killer?"

As a reader I am supposed to answer that question? I am always confuse about this headings that begin in question? I mean this qestion answers itself? Because if the question being stated in first place implies an affirmation? Then, there is no point to ask the quesiton to begin with? Or perhaps it's a lazy way of presenting an artcicle? Not to mention grammatically incorrect? C'mon Slashdot you know better than this? Use something more creative? Because it is a bastardization of the language? This is the proper way? Omit the question mark?

"Dyson To Roomba Killer"

English being my 7th language I wouldn't've passed my tests? We were taught the correct way?

"IS Dyson Preparing a Roomba Killer?"

Note the auxiliary verb at the beginning? Or else be a lil more original and brake from the norm? the Otherwise it sounds like another digg or/and engdget title? Thry this?

"Dyson Preparing a Roomba Killer?"

LAWL? It would be hilarious to make a compilation of ALL Slashdot question articles? RUFLAWL? Please let be this the last childish question heading? ... actually Cali girls talk this way?

End of Rant?

Anyways I am looking forward for the following news!!

"Samsung Preparing a Roomba, Dyson killer?"

"Westingsonhouse Preparing a Roomba, Dyson, Samsung Killer?"

"Siemens Preparing a Roomba, Dyson, Samsung, Westingsonhouse, killer?"

"(a) Preparing an (a^n-a^(n-1) killer?"

Well this is kinda obvious. As an analogy Ford, BMW, Seat, et al didn't slaughter each other (perhaps Laundry machine would have been a better analogy). The concept rather multiplied competing against each other. Besides, give me a brake, to make robotic vacuum cleaner ain't exactly rocket science. Lookhed Martin's Predator UAV, DARPA's Grand Prize, anyone? This looks more like high school project. Mindstorms NX attached to a regualr vacuum is already a Roomba killer! LMAO! And this concept in any way is a Roomba monopoly. I've seen this first in sci-fi comics when I was a kid. Dyson isn't the only killer out there!! LALW!

This title is stupid in several ways. First the overused "killer" word needs to be scrapped at least from Slashdot, leave it for diggers and engadget or stuff like that. Second making that sort of question is utterly simplistic, it really is for flamebait editors desperate to grab 400 posts. I mean this ain't addressing the digg mob!! RUFFLALW!! This is when you are 4 or 5 years old and grown ups ask you something is already obvious and you know it.

"Looky here buh-buh dah-dah, does the cat have for legs?" Err, y-e-s?
"Looky here buh-buh dah-dah, Dyson preparing a Roomba killer?" OMG, OHNOEZ, really???!!

NO SHIT.

Don't lower the standards to digg level!!

I think something along these lines wouldn't been more appropiate:

"Dyson's robovacuum ushers a new trend"

You see? That's more New York Times style and less New York Piece of Shit Post. An event is linked to a wider picture of things to come. Like the looming robotization of society. Or how chores that for centuries have been on women, are being done by robots and how she is transitioning. Let say, women used to wash, clean and cook. At the turn of lasts century the first burden was substituted by laundry machines, now is cleaing. So she is left with more time for cooking. Which, it will not remain like that for ever. It will come the time when cooking will be done by a robochef. What women do with all that free time?

Sorry, rant went over.

But anyways, all the best for robovacuum homebrew scene!! Now there will be mad hacks and judging Dyson's record it'll be more good-looking cutting edge technology and awsome innovation. Plenty of goodies. Roomba always looked ulgy like a croach and clumsy.
hopefully Dyson's will spur other heavyweight home-appliance brands jump in the bandwagon and make good quality, robovacuum cleaners. Then it'll be the demise of Roomba. Little chance stands outside the 3:00AM telemarketing. LAWL!!

What I want to see is this, a decent size color OLED touchscreen with a neat interface with a WII like remote control. A software for the PC to be able to control, program the dirt-sucker robot through wireless N. The sofwtare should be able to map the area and show it in the screen. The robovacuum should also count the dirt and show it on the screen in % or different colors depending on the level of dirt. It's progress should be graphically tracked in real time much like those m$$$$ hard-drive defrag software. Showing the clean part with a different color than the dirty parts. And notify me of obstacle that keep dirt, or remind me as I arrive home. Keep a log of the dust collected and showing it graphical statistics, day, week, month and year.

Slashdot Preperaing Killer Question Headings And Killer Killer Word News Nitles?

ok bye

Killer! (2, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541073)

Please don't kill Roomba! He's my friend [wellingtongrey.net] .

Reliability more important (5, Informative)

denoir (960304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541075)

I've had a number of robovacs namely:

-Roomba, unsophisticated and unreliable

-Electrolux Trilobite, sophisticated and unreliable

-Siemens SensorCruiser(same vac as the Kärcher RC 3000), unsophisticated and reliable.

The roomba is well known, so no description is needed there. The Electrolux does room mapping with echolocation but has a bulky design so it gets stuck, it is noisy and on occasion it can't find its charger.

The Siemens is has two essential pieces - the robot and the base station. The robot is small, very robustly designed and quiet. The base station is not just a charger, but a vacuum cleaner that empties the robot. Its main feature however is reliability - it always returns to the base station. Basically it vacuums for a short period 20-30 minutes, goes back to the station, charges and empties and goes at it again. After the vacuum period, it has battery power to search for the station for two whole hours - meaning in practice that it always finds home.

At one time when I was on vacation, the Siemens was on for three straight weeks without failing. The roomba can hardly handle two hours without either getting stuck or missing the charger. The Electrolux can't go a whole day without a screw-up.

The big point with robovacs is that they can go at it for a long time. Sophistication is not a necessity as a semi-random search will cover the entire area given enough time. So ultimately reliability is far more important than advanced sensors and room mapping.

Re:Reliability more important (2, Insightful)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541355)

Agreed. The real advantage of robot vacuum cleaners (or lawnmowers) would be to just 'let them run'. I don't care it it takes a few days to cover all my floor space, what I do care about is that I don't have to faff around with unloading, recharging, or otherwise 'playing' with my new robotic toy.

Get me a cleaning bot that runs for weeks without intervention, and covers the whole area over that sort of period, and I'll buy one. (So I might actually go look at the siemens one, it sounds like what I'm after)

Won't compete in the same market (1)

leko (69933) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541275)

The roomba is designed to hit a low price point. People don't generally believe a robotic vacuum can do a decent job, and non-geeks are unlikely to risk $500+, which I can only imagine a robotic dyson would cost. That's significantly above the cost of roombas, so whether or not the dyson is better doesn't matter that much, since the entry point is so much higher.

Not very happy about patents (3, Interesting)

Builder (103701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541363)

It brought a large smile to my face when I opened the box on my original Dyson (DC08 maybe?) and found along with the instructions for use, a rant about patents and how little they helped when he had to fight a bigger company.

From what I can tell, even though he had patented all of his work, it still cost him an arm and a leg to stop Hoover from just copying and destroying him.

Having said that, I'll never go back to another vacuum cleaner. It's sad, but Dyson has seriously increased the quality of my life. The pet brush and power attachment for the one I have made my house a LOT cleaner than before, and instead of 2 hours (sweep carpets THEN vacuum), I'm now down to 1 hour to do the whole job. And I'm healthier :)

Simple question? (1)

Phlatline_ATL (174344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541405)

Will it suck or will it suck

I've heard so many reviews that make the dyson vacs out to either be the greatest thing since sliced bread or the greatest disaster since the titanic. I'd be really surprised if there was anything other than the same type of review on a "roomba killer"

Trilobite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541437)

Are there any good comparisons between the Roomba and Electrolux's Trilobite?

what a deal (1)

bringmewater (868514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541441)

Only $6000 bucks ? I'll take two !

Had to be said... (1)

rhkaloge (208983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541523)

No Wi-Fi. Less memory than a Roomba. Lame.

Roomba Doesn't Suck (2, Insightful)

rhkaloge (208983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541545)

Is Dyson hoping to take on the Roomba with a much more sophisticated machine?

The advantage the roomba has, beside the OMGIOWNAROBOT factor, is that it goes under stuff. Thus, it doesn't actually suck - it's more a floor sweeper than a vacuum. To apply their super-expensive sucking technology to a robot, it will need to be much taller than the Roomba. What we'll get is the same machine with more marketing.

Yes, I'm 32, and yes, I chuckled every time I typed "suck".
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