The 360 Heurist is priced at a wallet-busting £799.99. But that won’t surprise anyone with an interest in Dyson products. The real story is what it does and whether it can really be worth that to you.
There have been questions as to whether Dyson had abandoned the robot vacuum cleaner market, as it hasn’t been following the now normal tech company policy of updating its product every year – whether or not it has something new to offer.
But now, four years later, Dyson believes it does.
As Dyson reckons it already had the competition beat in terms of power and suction, it focused its energies on navigation and the machine’s learning capabilities. (Still, it’s got 20% more suction power than its predecessor.)
The 360 Heurist makes a map of your home, which it updates every time it leaves the dock. As it has 20x more memory than its predecessor – this version has 10GB – It compares its current map to previously stored versions and continually refines it. This is a huge leap forward from most other state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners, which discard and recreate their maps at each outing.
At the core of its performance is what Dyson is calling simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technology. The robot’s sensors take a reading every 20 milliseconds, so it always knows where it is and what has changed in your home.
Via the Dyson Link app, you can set up cleaning zones, such as avoiding areas altogether and changing the cleaning mode in areas with thick rugs.
It has a fish-eye lens with six elements that give it a 360-degree field of vision. It also has an LED light ring, which works in combination with mirrors to focus the light and allow it to vacuum in low-light conditions. This should improve on the previous Dyson’s most noted flaw: its less than stellar performance in poor light.
The Heurist has eight sensors: two obstacle sensors at the front, two drop sensors, helping it to avoid staircases and similar pitfalls, two wall sensors and two for long range. This combination means that it can get as close to walls as possible, and look up to two metres ahead. Meanwhile, its tank treads should allow it to cross thresholds and climb over obstacles.
Like other Dyson cleaners, it uses Cylone technology – harnessing the centrifugal force to trap dust and debris in its bin – and has a full-width brush bar.
Dyson robot cleaners have opted for a taller, narrower design. The downside to this is that it can’t get under as many items of furniture as lower-lying cleaners. On the plus side, it can fit into the narrow gaps that other cleaners can’t, with a diameter of only 23cm.
We haven’t tested it yet, so we can’t give you a final verdict. But you probably already know if you want it. At the moment, we can only find it available to buy from the Dyson site in Canada. As soon as it becomes more widly available, we’ll let you know.
To see deals on existing Dyson products – and there are some great discounts at the moment – have a look at our round up of the best Dyson deals.