James Dyson may have helped pioneer the vacuum, but his company has steered clear of robotic vacuums, until now, that is, as it shows off one that it believes will clean your home properly.

Called the Dyson 360 Eye, the robotic vacuum is a first for the brand, with the company telling us that it has put 16 years of research into the technology, building a machine that analyses your environment using a special set of optics and pairing it with one of Dyson’s digital motors and Cyclone technology to pick up on the smallest particles of dust.

“Most robotic vacuum cleaners don’t see their environment, have little suction, and don’t clean properly,” said James Dyson, Founder and CEO of Dyson, adding “they are gimmicks.”

“We’ve been developing a unique 360 degree vision system that lets our robot see where it is, where it has been, and where it is yet to clean,” said Dyson. “Vision, combined with our high speed digital motor and cyclone technology, is the key to achieving a high performing robot vacuum – a genuine labour saving device.”

James Dyson with his 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner.

To make sure Dyson’s product doesn’t fit in the same line of gimmicks as other vacuum cleaners, the company spent over a decade to refine the concept, with 16 years of R&D just for the robotic vacuum cleaner itself, also borrowing from the 21 years of vacuum cleaning technological expertise Dyson has amassed from its other products.

The result is a robotic vacuum cleaner with an eye, or rather a set of optics that can take in a 360 degree scope around the room, observing where its recharge dock station is, and analysing the rest of the home, gradually building a floor plan as to where it should go.

Infrared sensors also work with this circular camera, relying on the pinpointing of objects to track the vacuum’s placement in the home as it works.

Suction is often a complaint for owners of robotic vacuums, and that’s often where that whole “gimmick” observation comes from, as the robotic part is often easier than making a good constant sweep and clean.

To deal with this, Dyson has employed the same sort of system it uses in its stick vacuum, with version 2 of its Dyson digital motor working alongside its Radial Radix Cyclone technology, which brings in dust and other particles at a high speed into its canister for emptying later on.

That compartment can hold 0.4 litres of dust and dirt, while the battery that drives the vacuum can go for 20 minutes before it will return itself to the dock for more charging.

Dyson has also changed the way the robotic vacuum moves, with wheels removed and replaced with tankplike tracks, making it suitable for rolling over various floor types and small objects.

One other feature that will have your attention is smartphone compatibility, and since everything has an app, it makes sense for your vacuum to have one as well.

In the case of the Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner, there will be an app for iOS and Android that will let owners schedule the machine to clean when they’re away from home.

Availability for Dyson’s first robo-vacuum won’t be at least until next year, and Japan will be getting it first, but if you’re keen, it shouldn’t be too long before you can sit back with a drink and let an automated Dyson do the work for you.