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Sir James Dyson and Google in competition to build first household robot

10/02/2014 by


Research will focus on vision systems that can help robots understand and adapt to the world around them… saving us from household chores

Vacuum tycoon James Dyson is in a race with Google to build the world’s first household robot.

Sir James – best known for the bagless vacuum cleaners – is investing £5million in an ‘Iron Man’ style robotics lab.

Research will focus on vision systems that can help robots understand and adapt to the world around them… saving us from the most mundane household chores.

The company has been working on robotics with Imperial College in London for several years.

The five-year investment, with an extra £3million of match-funding from other sources, will pay for 15 scientists, including some of Dyson’s own engineers.

Dyson said: “My generation believed the world would be overrun by robots by the year 2014. We now have the mechanical and electronic capabilities, but robots still lack understanding – seeing and thinking in the way we do.

“Mastering this will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies.

“Almost anything where you need a human to do it, you could replace that with a robot in the brave new world.

“The key is being able to behave as human does. Vision is the key to it.”

In 2001, Dyson’s prototype robotic vacuum cleaner – the DC06 – nearly made it into production, but Sir James pulled the product saying it was too heavy and expensive.

Now be believes his company using small, powerful motors and electronic navigation systems can work on developing a mass-selling house robot. Such a machine could patrol the grounds of your home to detect for intruders, raise the alarm in the vent of a fire and help with the housework.

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