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Robotics The Almighty Buck Technology

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

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 Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday February 10, 2014 @11:41AM (#46210073) Homepage

    It technology didn't try and solve problems that don't really exist then most of us would be out of a job :o)

    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.

    Welcome to the consumerism - the 21st century solution to the phony requirement of constant economic "growth".

  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday February 10, 2014 @11:59AM (#46210151) Journal
    I can vacuum myself but I'd prefer a robot if it did a good job. In my old apartment, a Roomba did a decent job of keeping the place free of cat hairs etc; the only problem was that its battery was crap (even the new Roombas still use NiMH batteries). It's nice to come home to a clean house instead of having to vacuum after a day of work.

    I wonder what Dyson will come up with this time. He's not that good at inventing new stuff; none of his flagship products (the cyclone vacuum, the Air Blade dryer, the bladeless fan) were invented by him. But he is good at packaging them into usable products of decent quality.
  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Monday February 10, 2014 @12:36PM (#46210433)

    He's not that good at inventing new stuff; none of his flagship products (the cyclone vacuum, the Air Blade dryer, the bladeless fan) were invented by him.

    Oh FFS, why are slashdotters so deluded about what inventions are and what inventors do. No product inventor creates something from first principles. They all use existing technology. It's how that technology is applied to something new that makes an invention.

    Dyson made the first bagless cyclone vac. If you think that's not true, you have to explain why the other vac companies had to wait for the expiration of Dyson't patents before they could make their competitor bagless cyclone vacs.

    Making the first bagless cyclone vac is invention. Regardless of the fact that elements of it existed in other devices before.

  • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Monday February 10, 2014 @01:25PM (#46210773) Journal

    Humans wash dishes pretty damned well, but dishwashers are pretty popular despite this. Labour saving devices and appliances to do things we can do, but find boring, are pretty popular things.

    And yes - something to help care for the elderly. We have nurses but they are so expensive that only the rich can afford to have them to care for them in their own home. A robot that can help out with various tasks can mean an elderly person of normal means can retain their independence for a bit longer at their own home, instead of being sent to an expensive nursing home where in many cases they get treated like dirt.

    The point of machines is not just to do things we can't do, but to do things we don't like doing, or is expensive for a human to do.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday February 10, 2014 @03:11PM (#46211505) Homepage
    As somebody with Kids, I can tell you why this doesn't work. Because half the trouble with vacuuming is cleaning up all the stuff that you don't want vacuumed up in the first place. Sure you could just suck up all the Lego bricks in the vacuum, but something going to clog it, and then it won't be picking up anything. That, and the kids will start crying. This is the same problem that I have with dishwashers. By the time you sufficiently rinsed the dishes that you're assured that the dishwasher won't leave any food on the dish which will be there forever after it's baked on by the dry cycle, you might as well have washed the dishes by hand.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."