Robot vacuum cleaners have come so far that they’re beginning to rival upright models in performance. Gone are the days of a bulky, obtrusive box bumping into a wall repeatedly, as we see sophisticated self-emptying designs which map out the rooms to calculate the best route.
And the advancement doesn’t stop there — Dyson has just filed a patent application (opens in new tab) for a robot vacuum cleaner which can actually climb the stairs!
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Dyson has built up a reputation for its unusual designs and rightly so when you consider how iconic some of its products have become. From air purification to hair care and, of course, vacuum cleaners, Dyson has slowly and successfully branched out into new sectors and now commands a presence in each market.
Dyson has already released a robot vacuum cleaner, the Dyson 360 Heurist Robot Vacuum Cleaner (opens in new tab). However, as you’d expect, it wants to take the design a step further, by potentially introducing an innovative robot vacuum cleaner which can climb stairs.
As you can see from the illustrations in the patent, which was published on September 1, this theoretical robot vacuum would feature a set of "tri-star wheels" and a robotic arm. It could use the robotic arm as leverage to push the body up the stairs as the wheels revolve on the flat of each step. And it would supposedly clean in the process as well and should be able to navigate its way down the stairs once it's done.
As with all patents, there’s no way to know if this design will ever hit the shop shelves. Many companies will file patents just to secure the intellectual property.
What do we think?
In my personal experience with the Dyson 360 Heurist Robot Vacuum Cleaner, I’ve found that while the performance in terms of pick-up is good, the design struggles in its intelligence. So it can collect mess, but it can’t navigate as effectively as other brands.
I think before exploring new areas of innovation in design, the quality of the original product should be further developed. Dyson is always great in terms of suction and air-technology, but it’s not quite there for robotics yet.
Would this concept work?
There’s no reason why this concept wouldn’t work so long as it was designed correctly. It would expand the robot vacuum market as well, providing a solution to those with more than one level in their home.
However, the added arm is going to make the design much more bulky and it's difficult to tell how effectively it would clean the stairs as it climbs. Climbing the stairs is likely to be a timely process too. So unless you run the robot vacuum when you’re not at home, it’s going to get in the way and could potentially be a tripping hazard. It’s a good idea, but the practicalities need to be considered.
Nevertheless, this patent show that Dyson is certainly still a brand to watch when it comes to cleaning tech.
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