Welcome Home: Dyson ushers in new age of home-friendly robots

June 3, 2022

2 min read

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What's going on here?

Dyson – the Singaporean multinational technology company founded in 1991 by James Dyson – is working on robots that are able to perform household chores beyond the company’s current offerings.

What does this mean?

Dyson officially announced that it is developing household robots that are capable of performing more domestic tasks. It released information that it has invested in a robotics facility in Hullavington Airfield to develop its technology.

The company first revealed the robot’s developments in a short video during the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, where attendees saw a glimpse of a robot prototype picking up different household objects such as toys and plates. If successful, Dyson would be making significant progress in the field of consumer-friendly robotics as many leading firms in the industry still struggle to diversify the tasks robots can perform.

What's the big picture effect?

The announcement is important because it shows that Dyson is eager to expand its products and services and widen the range in which it interacts with its consumers. For example, Dyson made its commitment to robotics clear when it declared that it would spend £2.75bn on robotics development by 2025 by investing in research, development and product launches. In addition, more than half of Dyson’s new 2,000 employees comprise engineers, coders or scientists that specialise in computer vision, machine learning, and sensors.

Dyson is currently well known for its handheld vacuum cleaners and handheld dryers such as the Dyson AirWrap. In earlier attempts to branch out, the company has made efforts in marketing an over-ear headphone and air purifying mask hybrid which received negative feedback. Afterwards, it tried to enter the electric car market, which it promptly abandoned in 2019 due to its relative position in the competitive market. However, Dyson’s chief engineer, Jake Dyson, has high hopes for the household robot project, describing it as a “big bet on future robotic technology” that will “drive research across the whole of Dyson, in areas including mechanical engineering, vision systems, machine learning and energy storage”.

In the wider industry, it is expected that the market for household robots, such as the one being developed by Dyson, will grow significantly through 2022. The 2019 International Federation of Robotic Report showed that sale value for household robots rose by 15% (the equivalent of $3.7 billion). Three years later, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic and consumers’ experiences with lockdowns, the demand is only expected to increase as more people look to automate daily mundane tasks and devote more time to newfound hobbies. In addition, there is a growing trend in ‘smart homes’, where smart devices and household robots are expected to play a significant role. Companies like Apple are expanding their product line to encompass most aspects of home life with devices like the HomePod, AppleTV, and iOS/Siri-enabled lighting. If successful, Dyson will position themselves at the forefront of an innovative – and potentially lucrative – household robots market.

Report written by Woojin Nam

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