Dyson’s taking another crack at the robot vacuum market in the US following the failure of the Dyson 360 Eye — which it launched in 2016 and then quickly stopped selling here, saying it was “ill-suited to US homes.” (The follow-up model, the 360 Heurist, never made it here at all.) Now, Dyson is introducing the Dyson 360 Vis Nav robot vacuum. Shorter and slimmer than its predecessors, the Vis Nav is designed to work better in our complicated American homes. It still sports the signature extra-long brush and squared shape of the 360 line, but adds more suction power and a faster processor.
Dyson also announced five other new products: Its first-ever attempt at a mopping vacuum — the Dyson Submarine with wet roller head; the fifth generation of its signature cordless stick vacs — the Dyson Gen5detect ($949) and Dyson Gen5outsize ($1,049); and two positively giant indoor air purifiers — the Dyson Purifier Big+Quiet Formaldehyde and the Dyson Purifier HEPA Big+Quiet Formaldehyde. Dyson didn’t provide pricing or release dates for any models other than the Gen5 vacuums, which are coming June 6th.
As a Dyson product, we can expect the Vis Nav to be expensive. The Dyson 360 Eye launched in 2016 for $999. We would also expect it to be innovative. But from the details Dyson has provided, which aren’t a lot, it looks like the company is going for power and precision over whiz-bang new features.
There’s no option of mopping or self-emptying, which we’ve seen on a lot of new robot vacuums today, nor does it appear to have AI-powered obstacle avoidance (just regular debris dodging). But Dyson says the Vis Nav has twice the suction power of any other robot vacuum and a “high-level processor” that “thinks and adapts” to the data it collects from 26 sensors to avoid obstacles, detect dust, and find walls. It also has a side-actuator brush that allows for “precision edge cleaning.” Along with its square head that can get closer to edges and corners, this should mean it can reach those tricky spots other, rounder robo vacs may miss.
The other big change is the smaller size. Dyson didn’t provide any specifications but says the Vis Nav can get under furniture as low as 3.9 inches. The original Eye was 4.72 inches high, too tall to get under most sofas or beds. Unfortunately, it’s still blue, which is a bold and, dare we say, bad choice for a product that sits out in people’s homes.
As with earlier models, the Vis Nav has an extra long brush that extends the length of the vacuum — most robo vacs make do with a small brush right in the center. The brush also has three surfaces to help with debris pick up: a soft “Fluffy” nylon for large debris, anti-static carbon fiber filaments for fine dust, and stiff nylon bristles to dig into carpets.
Dyson uses its own version of simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology for figuring out how to get around your home, powered by a small camera on the top of the robot surrounded by LEDs to help it see in the dark.
The Vis Nav will work with the MyDyson app, has a 50-minute runtime, and will automatically return to its charging dock. The company didn’t provide any more details, such as bin size, battery size, or any info on software features such as mapping or keep-out zones. You can sign up for updates on the new products at Dyson’s website.
Of course, Dyson is known for its regular vacuums, which are still a necessity even if you have a robot vacuum — robot vacuums still can’t do stairs. The newest Dyson vacs, the Gen5detect and Gen5outsize, are cordless vacuums with the fifth generation of Dyson’s Hyperdymium motor. This is “smaller, faster, and more powerful than its predecessors,” according to Dyson. The new models are also capable of “capturing viruses from your home,” according to Dyson.
The Dyson Submarine is the company’s first wet vacuum cleaner. Its wet roller head can mop up wet spills like ketchup and milk, as well as remove dust and stains from hard floors. An attachment to the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine and Dyson V12s Detect Slim Submarine vacuums, the roller head contains a small, 300ml clean water tank and a separate waste water tank with a motorized microfiber roller for scrubbing. Both models will also ship with standard vacuum cleaner heads, however, Dyson says the submarine attachment won’t work on existing vacuums.
Finally, the new Dyson Purifier Big+Quiet Formaldehyde (meaning it claims to trap and destroy formaldehyde, as well as 99.97 percent of other pollutants) is a smart air purifier designed for large open-plan spaces in your home. With a completely different design from Dyson’s other tall and slim air purifier / fan models, the Big+Quiet uses new “cone aerodynamics” to project its purifying powers over 32 feet. There’s also a Dyson Purifier HEPA Big+Quiet Formaldehyde designed for shared, commercial spaces — which would be quite the conversation piece in the office.