Dyson’s 360 Heurist robot vacuum will clean your home and may bring about the end of humanity – British GQ

Posted: April 28, 2020 at 2:47 am


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If you keep an eye on the technology press, youll know that we are in the middle of a robot revolution. Advances in artificial intelligence have unleashed a wave of automation thats going to transform the way you live and work particularly if your boss is starting to look at you taking a coffee break and thinking, If only they were a little more machine. So far, so futurey. In centuries to come, however, when a cyborg historian casts his LED eye back at this inflection point in human existence, he will surely find it a source of some amusement that the reason mankind first welcomed robots into their daily lives ultimately leading to the spread of robots across the earth, self-awareness, the Great Insurrection and thermonuclear war was because they didnt fancy doing the hoovering.

In fairness, though, doing the hoovering is a drag.

Thats why for the past two weeks, GQ has been living with a hoover-bot. Its not self-aware (yet) but it is smart. The Dyson 360 Heurist is the companys next iteration of its lauded Dyson 360 Eye. Like the original, it trundles around your house on tank tracks using a top-mounted camera and sensors to navigate obstacles and avoid falling downstairs and, apart from the new colourway, it looks similar too. But it comes with a multitude of upgrades. That camera now has twice the aperture and is improved by a set of LEDs that illuminate the path ahead if required anyone who tried the first model will be aware that low-light conditions pose a challenge. It also has 20 times more memory, which is vital for its navigational strategy, SLAM, which stands for simultaneous localisation and mapping. This involves taking readings from its sensors every 20 milliseconds to make sure it hasnt missed a bit of carpet or is about to knock over a vase. Arguably the most important thing is how well it cleans. The companys gamble when it first got into this space was that there were other robot vacuums out there, but none that offered Dyson-level cleaning. This new model really sucks (in a good way). The new V2 motor spins at 78,000rpm to vacuum 20 per cent harder.

The most interesting difference, however, is implied by the new suffix: Heurist. Its a reference to its ability to learn. With a quad-core processor and 10GB of memory, its able to become an ever-more conscientious house slave. It remembers previous maps that it has made of your property and uses these to build a fuller and fuller picture of what it needs to clean. This also means that finally! you can set it to clean specific rooms or zones. So if you want it to only clean the kitchen, or even just avoid an area thats full of cables or obstacles that could cause it to get stuck, you just have to say so on the app. Thats a major advance.

Our experience with the bot left us impressed. It cleans effectively, the zoning is a welcome new feature and its ability to detect obstacles and avoid stairs is sufficiently reliable that you dont feel the need to watch over it. Its still not perfect, though. There are always bits of fluff and dirt that it doesnt quite get due to its shape, and its height means it cant get under low chairs and coffee tables. It also has a habit of getting stuck if it moves itself onto an awkward surface or chews up a mat. Sure, you could create zones to avoid this, but the fear that you have left something out that might cause it problems means that you wont want to switch it on if you arent on the premises. Our view? Overall this is a robot that will help keep your property in good shape between your main weekly hoovering sessions but it wont replace those sessions altogether.

In the future, the obvious area for improvement is a better battery. This is an industry-wide challenge, not one that is peculiar to Dyson, but it means that this robot takes a long time to give your floors a really thorough clean as it will likely have to return to its charging base halfway through the job. That said, its this very moment when it independently wheels itself out of one room, down the hallway, into another and docks with its charger that it seems most like it has a mind of its own. Theres almost something quite cute about it.

But remember, this is how it begins

799.99. dyson.co.uk

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Dyson's 360 Heurist robot vacuum will clean your home and may bring about the end of humanity - British GQ

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

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