Swanky vacuum manufacturer Dyson has had a turbulent relationship with robovacs. The company’s first swing at the idea came in 2016 with the Dyson 360 Eye, which sported a weird tall and stumpy form factor that didn’t fit under furniture. A 2020 sequel, the Dyson 360 Heurist, kept the ultra-tall form factor and wasn’t even released in the US as a result. This new robovac, the “Dyson 360 Vis Nav,” opts for a more typical low, wide body design, making it look like a normal robot vacuum. Or at least, it’s as normal as a Dyson product can ever look—it still has a screaming metallic purple paint job and what looks like a silver Alien-like facehugger on the top deck.
Old Dyson robovacs were around 9 inches wide and 4.7 inches tall, so the company previously opted for a robot with a small footprint and a tall body. That theoretically allowed it to maneuver into tighter places than your average short, flat disk vacuum, but it can’t kill the dust bunnies under the couch. Dyson says this new model can fit under a 99 mm (3.9 inch) tall gap, which is right in line with the normal height of a Roomba. It’s also D-shaped now, like a Neato vac or high-end Roomba, which allows for a wider coverage path and to really get into those corners.
Edge coverage is normally done by a spinning brush, but you won’t find one here. Instead, there is what looks like an extendable, L-shaped red squeegee just behind the brush bar. When the robot detects a wall, the squeegee extends to connect with the wall, and Dyson says this will “redirect suction” and pick up everything.
Navigation is entirely camera-based. Its primary vision of the world comes from a 360-degree fish-eye hemispheric lens on the top deck, then there are six more directional cameras. The left and right sides each have a camera placed high in the corner for what looks like more positional data. The front of the robot doesn’t seem to have a bumper plate, instead opting for four cameras: Two are forward-facing and there are left- and right-facing cameras. Presumably, this is how it stops from running into everything and how it detects walls.
All those cameras are fed into a Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) system, so the robot maps your house and knows where it is in your home. The app supports all the features you would expect, like mapping, room creation and naming, and targeting specific areas of the house.
Auto-docking into the floor charger requires a lot of precision, and usually, robovacs have some kind of infrared light system embedded in the dock and robot. Dyson seems to instead use what looks like fiducial-based localization. You can see the telltale black-and-white checkerboard stickers that let a camera identify an object. The stickers really clash with the extremely colorful alien technology design motif of the rest of the robot. Notice the robot also docs in the forward position, so those silver buttons on the front are presumably the charging contacts.
The major downside of this robot is that there is no auto-empty feature. Most premium robovacs nowadays can empty themselves at the charging dock when they are full and continue cleaning. That’s not just one less responsibility you have as a robot owner, it also alleviates the robot design from having to make a tradeoff in bin-size versus other components. If the robot auto-empties, you can prioritize other features over maximizing bin space. The bin, by the way, is under the silver facehugger and pulls out of the back of the robot.
So while the robot part still sounds like it’s lagging behind the competition, Dyson claims this is the “most powerful robot vacuum with six times the suction of any other” thanks to the “Dyson Hyperdymium motor.” It has a “fully-sealed HEPA filtration system [that] traps dust and seals in 99.99% of particles as microscopically small as 0.1 microns—the size of pet dander and diesel soot.”
We don’t have a full list of launch countries, but there’s nothing about the robot on Dyson’s US site. The Australian site lists a release date of May 25, and it should be no surprise that this is really expensive, with an eye-watering price of $AUD 2,399 or about $1,590.