Dyson has unveiled a series of prototype robots it is working on and announced its plans to hire hundreds of engineers within the next five years to develop robots that can perform household chores. The company offered visuals to show the robots’ fine motor skills, with arms capable of pulling dishes out of a drying rack, vacuuming a couch, or picking up a child’s toy.
Dyson, best known for its vacuum cleaners, shares its ambitions to develop “an autonomous machine capable of home chores and other activities.” A report published by The Guardian suggests that, the company could launch such a device by 2030.
Notably, the announcement comes more than half a decade after Dyson had revealed its first robotic device, Dyson 360 Eye, a robot vacuum cleaner, in 2014. The company has long expressed its interest in AI and robotics as the foundation for its future products.
Dyson is On a Hiring Spree
With a prominent “Start your Dyson career” link towards the top of Dyson’s press release, the announcement was made in the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Philadelphia to attract top talent in the space.
The company is now undertaking the “biggest engineering recruitment drive in its history.” It’s looking for 250 robotics engineers with experience in “computer vision, machine learning, sensors, and mechatronics” and plans to add 700 more over the next five years. It further claimed to have already hired 2k new staff members this year.
“Dyson hired its first roboticist two decades ago, and we are looking for 250 more professionals this year alone. This is a ‘huge bet’ on future robotic technology that will drive Dyson’s research in mechanical engineering, vision systems, machine learning, and energy storage. We urgently require the best people on the planet to join us,” wrote Dyson’s Chief Engineer, Jake Dyson.
New hires will be stationed at Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire, a new London laboratory near Imperial College’s Dyson Robotics Lab, and Dyson’s international headquarters in Singapore.
Betting Big on Robotic Technology
Besides making hires, Dyson is also building, what it hopes would be the latest robotics research center in the United Kingdom, reported The Guardian.
The center will be located at Hullavington Airfield, next to the company’s existing design center in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, where 250 roboticists will be employed. Before the project was scrapped in 2019, the land had been slated to construct Dyson’s electric automobile.
Dyson also announced intentions to invest about $3.45 billion in robotics, new motor technology, and machine learning software by 2025 in 2020. This year, it intends to spend about $750 million of the fund.