Dyson reveals plans for robots that perform household chores
Here's hoping they don't become sentient and take overBy Rob Thubron 7 comments
Something to look forward to: Dyson might be best known for its premium vacuum cleaners, but it has bigger plans for its products of the future: robots that can perform household chores. The company has published photos and a video of the secret robot prototypes it has been quietly developing, and they definitely look interesting.
Dyson unveiled the robots at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Philadelphia this week. They include a claw picking up plates, which is presumably doing the dishes---something most people would appreciate. There's also an arm with a vacuum attachment cleaning the furniture and what looks somewhat concerningly like a Terminator-style hand picking up a teddy bear.
The company says it aims to develop "an autonomous device capable of household chores and other tasks." The Guardian writes that Dyson is placing a "big bet" on producing these robots by 2030.
Dyson's plans include building the UK's largest robotics research center at its Hullavington Airfield site. The company had planned to use the location to develop an electric car but abandoned the idea in 2019 because of concerns over profitability.
Dyson announced during the robotics event that half of the 2,000 people who joined the firm this year are engineers. It is currently recruiting 250 more robotics engineers and plans to add another 700 people from fields such as computer vision, machine learning, sensors, and mechatronics over the next five years, part of a £2.75 billion (around $3.45 billion) investment plan, £600 million (around $750 million) of which will be spent this year.
Dyson made headlines back in March after it unveiled noise-canceling headphones that wrap around a wearer's head and filter the air they're breathing.