British appliance company Dyson has teased its latest product with a cryptic YouTube video. It's not yet clear what the device — codenamed project N223 — will do, but it seems fairly likely that it's going to be a Roomba-esque robotic vacuum cleaner. The video shows a lab from a panoramic robot's-eye view as scientists tinker with its parts and smaller bots buzz past at floor level.
Dyson invested $8.2 million in robot research
Earlier this year, the company invested £5 million ($8.2 million) in a lab that focuses on helping robots "understand and adapt to the world around them" at London's Imperial College. Founder James Dyson suggested his company would be building a robotic cleaner in an interview with BBC News in February, saying "mastering [robotic vision] will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies." The inventor almost launched an automated vacuum in 2001, backing out of the project only when it became apparent the device was too heavy and expensive.
But project N223 isn't necessarily an automated room sweeper. Dyson started out producing vacuum cleaners, but the company's advanced R&D department has allowed it to expand its product line to include novel cooling fans, stylish heaters, and the Dyson AirBlade — still the most fun way to dry your hands after going to the bathroom. We'll find out exactly what project N223 is on September 4th, when the project is revealed to the public, but until then, let's speculate.