Dyson has indicated it is making a “big bet” on producing robots capable of doing household chores by 2030, as it appears to go beyond the vacuum cleaners, fans and dryers that make its founder one of the wealthiest. British businessmen made.
The company, founded by billionaire Sir James Dyson, released photos Wednesday of robotic arms used in domestic settings, including cleaning furniture, a claw that picks up dishes and a hand-like machine that picks up a teddy bear.
While that may not sound like great feats, robots still struggle with many actions that represent simple tasks for humans, such as grabbing fragile objects or dealing with unfamiliar obstacles. Solving these and other problems could create new markets for the company.
Dyson aims to build the UK’s largest robotics research center at its Hullavington Airfield site, close to its design center in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. However, other recruits will also be based in a lab in London and Singapore.
James Dyson, who has a net worth of £23 billion, according to the Sunday Times, has controversially moved the company’s headquarters to Singapore in early 2019, despite championing the prospects of Britain’s manufacturing industry after Brexit, which he prominently supported. .
The Hullavington site was planned as an electric car development site. While it was initially believed that his car could be Dyson’s next big product, the effort was halted at the prototype stage due to concerns over profitability.
Dyson, which had a turnover of £6bn and profit before various costs of £1.5bn in 2021, had said it would spend £2.75bn from 2020 to 2025 – including £600m this year – on new products. and launch research technologies, including robotics and batteries.
Dyson announced at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Philadelphia that 2,000 people will participate by 2022, half of them engineers, scientists and programmers.
It said it plans to hire an additional 700 robotics engineers in areas such as computer vision, machine learning, sensors and mechatronics over the next five years.
Robots are widely used in controlled situations, such as on production lines in factories, but have yet to make a significant breakthrough in homes beyond the niche but growing market for robotic vacuum cleaners.
Dyson has launched several robotic vacuum cleaners in the past, although the best-sellers remain cordless handheld models.
Jake Dyson, the founder’s son who now works as the company’s chief engineer, said: “This is a ‘big bet’ on future robotic technology that will drive research across Dyson, in areas such as mechanical engineering, vision systems, machine learning. and energy storage.”