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Robotics The Almighty Buck Technology

Dyson Invests £5 Million To Create 'Intelligent Domestic Robots' 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-clean-you-with dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "James Dyson only releases products he is 100% happy with, which is why, despite nearly a decade of research in the area, his company has yet to release a robotic vacuum cleaner. To help drive research forward, he will invest £5 million in a joint research lab at Imperial College London which will focus on 'vision systems,' which Dyson hopes will help create the next generation of 'intelligent domestic robots.'" Last week Dyson proposed that the UK government offer monetary incentives to students with an interest and aptitude in science.
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Dyson Invests £5 Million To Create 'Intelligent Domestic Robots'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 10, 2014 @11:30AM (#46209975)
    Working hard to solve non-existent problems that any reasonable human being doesn't give two craps about. Unless you live in a 60,000 sq. ft. mansion, in which case you already have "vision system vacuum cleaners": they're called indentured illegal immigrants.

    In the meantime, the rest of use in our 600 sq. ft. urban condos made of ersatz materials can easily vacuum the damn place ourselves in 5 minutes. It's not a big deal, it's not a problem that urgently needs solving.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday February 10, 2014 @11:33AM (#46210003)

    He had one big hit with a bagless vacuum cleaner and he's been dining out on that every since. I'm not convinced he's really the man to usher in the next generation of AI.

    Aside from that, from what I've read in interviews he really has next to know knowledge of how normal people think or act since he seems to be of the opinion that everyone will be blissfully happy being put out of work by a robot.

    Yes , I know , luddites etc , but you can't always generate new jobs to replace old ones that have succummed to tech - at some point you're going to put a lot of people out of a job and then what?
    And don't someone come up with the BS about everyone will sit around in blissful nirvana writing poetry or music or coding or go kayaking all day. It ain't going to happen.

  • by rmstar (114746) on Monday February 10, 2014 @12:06PM (#46210185)

    Seriously - in a western society where everyone is well fed and healthy and has access to 24/7 entertainment there is nothing vital that (non health related) technology or science can add to our existence - its all toys, gadgets and gizmos that are a brief amusement until they get tossed in landfill and then we all go out and buy the next piece of crap.

    That's not entirely true. There is a lot of cancer to be cured, and cured painlessly. Having a longer period of livable life would be very desirable, which includes delaying decrepitude as well as making old age more livable. There is a lot of sientific advance possible and desirable in those areas.

    A piece of robot kit able to navigate a typical human dwelling would be a fantastic achievement upon which a lot could be built, not just vacuum cleaners. That said, I don't believe that you can make breakthroughs happen just by sprinkling money on scientists, especially a lump sum like this 5 million pounds.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday February 10, 2014 @12:11PM (#46210225)

    That "big hit" was pretty damned big, and he's had a lot of other cool inventions. They might not be so visible to you if you haven't looked up his product line. Dyson also came up with a better hand-dryer and he's even topped it with one with the hand-dryer AT the faucet. I really like the way the guy thinks. He has the ability to drop all preconceived notions about technology and start from scratch.

  • by ranton (36917) on Monday February 10, 2014 @12:37PM (#46210437)

    " Dyson also came up with a better hand-dryer and he's even topped it with one with the hand-dryer AT the faucet"

    Ah , of course! *Obviously* anyone who comes up with a new dryer and connects it to the plumbing is the #1 go-to man to develop bleeding edge AI! Watch out all those teams at MIT and Harvard and elsewhere who've been working on this problem for decades - our Jim will have it sorted as soon as he's come up with his wall mounted potato peeler.

    Are you kidding with this? He isn't using this money to pay himself to solve the problem alone. He is spending it on hiring those software engineers from MIT and Harvard and elsewhere who've been working on this problem for decades.

    Anyone willing to spend money to fund this research is a good thing. Any time that money is spent by a company with a good track record of creating innovative products is even better.

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