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Dyson Preparing a Roomba Killer? 243

An anonymous reader writes "New Scientist's technology blog reports that Dyson, the UK company that reinvented the vacuum cleaner, is recruiting robotics engineers. They're looking for people with experience of machine vision and mobile robots that create their own maps. Is Dyson hoping to take on the Roomba with a much more sophisticated machine?"
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Dyson Preparing a Roomba Killer?

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  • Lolz (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2007 @02:49AM (#18540203)
    Dyson is preparing a Roomba Terminator. Dyson must be stopped!
  • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) * on Friday March 30, 2007 @02:54AM (#18540215) Homepage Journal
    It's called the DC06. This link is as good as any. []
  • yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @02:54AM (#18540217) Homepage
    Dyson, the UK company that reinvented the vacuum cleaner

    Yeah, they re-invented it to be the BOSE of vacuum cleaners. []
    • Try Vacuum'ing (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Ask a programmer about programming not a consumer magazine. I have to do the vacuuming in my house (working wife), Dyson cylinder is our vacuum cleaner for the last year and I ain't switching! Before that we had the Samsung Cylinder (the clone of the Dyson) but I broke the catch that holds the cylinder in place (crappy cheap plastic), no seal means no cyclone.

      Go to your electrical shop and they don't sell bag cleaners anymore, all you see is the cyclone ones. All that BS from Hoover about how good bags are
      • Re:Try Vacuum'ing (Score:5, Informative)

        by asninn ( 1071320 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @06:32AM (#18541183)
        If you had read the blog entry (and the update) the GP linked to, you would've noticed that noone ever said that the Dyson hoovers were bad - quite the opposite. They apparently all received "very good" ratings; what the GP was trying to point out is that

        a) The Dysons are not an order of magnitude better, as it often seems to be claimed;
        b) In fact, in all tests, there were a number of other hoovers that were *better*;
        c) In fact, those other hoovers were also *cheaper*.

        So, no, a Dyson certainly isn't bad, but you can get an even better product for a lower price if you buy from another manufacturer, as long as you care about performance than about novel looks.
        • a) The Dysons are not an order of magnitude better, as it often seems to be claimed;

          That is exactly correct.

          It is not a superior quality and/or performance of the Dyson vacuums, it is the snooty, feigned-upscale saturation advertising that has embedded the Dyson name into pop culture.

          The Dyson vacuums work well. Other, more conventional vacuums work as well or even better. With the Dyson vacuums, however, you are paying a significant amount of money to support the broad-ranging and extensive market

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
            Consumer Reports [] and others have not ranked Dyson anything more than average. I used to have other links, but that was 2 years ago when I was in the market for a new vacuum cleaner. I needed one that would clean dog hair out of the carpet without jamming the power head (3 chows produce lots of hair). The top rated vacuum for pet hair was the $500 Kenmore model. I bought it and I've been happy with everything but robustness of the powerhead. Fortunately, the 5 year extended warranty has already proven worth
      • Re:Try Vacuum'ing (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @06:53AM (#18541263) Homepage Journal
        They sell more cyclone vacuums now because that what the public have been brainwashed into demanding. If you want a real opinion, ask someone who spends most of their days vacuuming. For example, try finding an office cleaning company that uses dysons. You can't. They don't. Dyson's are not robust and not good value and not the best at what they do.

        They are however very good cleaners for your typical household, but still not the best value and arguably not the best cleaner overall.

        Dyson hoovers are one of the most succesful marketing efforts in recent times. Everyone has fallen for it. All they had to do was make a machine that was above average and then convince the world it was unique and they did it brilliantly.

        Well done to them, not on producing a brilliant cleaner, but on excelling at business and marketing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Alioth ( 221270 )
          That's because they will either be using some sort of 'shop vac' style machine, or a Kirby. Kirby vacuum cleaners aren't made out of plastic - they are hewn from metal (and even have 'self drive' like lawnmowers have). They are also extremely powerful. A Kirby is hugely expensive, but if you're using the thing 8 hours a day, it will pay to have one as it'll last many years.
        • Dyson is right... (Score:4, Informative)

          by CheeseTroll ( 696413 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @09:38AM (#18542391)
          Vacuums with filters *do* clog up after a while. That's why I recently spent $15 on a new filter for my $100 vacuum cleaner (which we purchased 6 years ago), and it's good as new. We could replace the filter every year, and it would take 20 years to cost as much as a $400 machine.
      • Dyson cylinder is our vacuum cleaner for the last year and I ain't switching!

        So, if someone says that a vacuum cleaner sucks... is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
      • by DataBroker ( 964208 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @08:00AM (#18541549)
        This is a bit off-topic, but I need to share the lesson I've learned.

        NEVER give a woman a holiday present that has an electrical cord. You'll realize this the first time that she tells her friends that you gave her a vacuum for her birthday. Awkward to say the least! Perceptions of earrings, however, varies with whoever hears the story. A rich friend imagines those massive diamond dangly things.
        If she says she wants a (corded) Dyson for Christmas, buy one for the house and then give her earrings.

        Oh yeah, and yes, my wife, who stays home, actually likes when I give her those gifts that are hard to explain to friends. It's like giving her free time if I give her something that gets the job done faster.
      • I use Miele Solaris [], it has a bag, but one thing is for sure, this is the best vacuum I have used and I had a bagless Dyson before. I vacuum (which reminds me, I should do it again.)
    • Yes, it's strange (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @04:20AM (#18540575)
      Consumer Reports gives it pretty poor ratings gives many cheaper more conventional vacs better ratings. Maybe their tests are off, or like an iPod - it simply gives the user a better experience while being technically inferior in some places.

      I usually trust CR's ratings in several categories, but I have yet to put together how the vacuum revolutionized the industry (just look at the models offered in Walmart/Target/Kmart vs 10 yrs back - they are all Dyson copies now) with its poor showing.

      Maybe it's the vacuum, or maybe it's the magazine that is at fault.
      • Maybe their tests are off, or like an iPod - it simply gives the user a better experience while being technically inferior in some places.

        Except that last time I checked, Consumer Reports still recommended the iPod among digital media players. They do account for things like ease of use in their ratings.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        In "Which?", the UK equivalent of Consumer Reports, Dyson cleaners usually come at the top of the table for everything except reliability. Because of their poor reliability they were never included as a "Best Buy" until Dyson extended the manufacturer warranty to 5 years to counter Which?'s assertion that Dyson vacuum cleaners were the only product where an extended warranty was worth the money.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by brokeninside ( 34168 )

          Consumer's Union, the organization behind Consumer Reports, buys all of the merchandise they test from retail stores so that they are testing the same kit that consumers are buying. The also develops fairly rigorous methodologies for testing. For example, in their vacuum cleaner review, they create dump the same amount of artificially concocted dirt on several different surfaces ranging from a deep shag carpet to a bare floor and record the results of having each model having a go. Does Which? take a simila

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by jrumney ( 197329 )

            Yes, Which? does its testing in its own lab according to a well defined test plan which they detail in their articles. They don't accept advertising or test products, just like Consumer Reports. Of the brands you list, only Hoover is widely available in the UK, and like the US, some models do well in their tests, others not so well. Typically Miele and Bosch consistently do well, along with Dyson in every category except reliability. Electrolux, Hoover and some other brands have some models at the top and s

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by ivan256 ( 17499 )
              Yeah, but only one of all those models has an arrogant prick in their television commercials.
          • by Tomun ( 144651 )
            Which? say of themselves

            With so much choice on the High Street - and so much confusing hype - Which? is the UK's only truly independent source of consumer information. Uniquely we accept no advertising, no freebies, no subsidies from government, and everything we test is bought anonymously at full price.

            They are pretty much equivalent organisations.
      • I bought a Dyson. My mother in law bought the highest rated one from CR. (A Hoover I think). Hers is a bear to use compared to our Dyson. It's heavy, the tools get stuck to surfaces, and it's hard to turn the brushes off for bare floors. About the only thing it does better is that the hand tools are easier to get to.

        I was suprised as anyone when I read the CR rating, because I've found the claims in Dyson's ads to be generally accurate.

        • Yep. I got one for my wife, and I end up using it a lot too. It's pretty much the best vacuum cleaner I have ever used. It has plenty of "suck", the longest extension hose I have ever seen on a vac, lots of accessories, and HEPA filter so I can suck up lead paint chips safely. I don't really care if there is some other brand I could have gotten for $100 less that does an equivalent job. My Dyson works great, does everything I/wife needs it to do, will last a long time, and makes my wife happy. And having a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alienw ( 585907 )
        Consumer Reports generally doesn't know what the hell they are talking about. They are OK if you are completely clueless about a certain type of product. However, they are often even more clueless. Just look at their ratings for cars, music players, hi-fi equipment, and so on. With cars, they often give badge-engineered versions of the same car wildly different ratings, with the Toyota version always being on top and the GM version being at the bottom for things like reliability ratings. With hi-fi equ
    • The Bose of vacuum cleaners would surely be like the Bose of cassette players; $10000 for something that everyone else sells for 1/100th the price?
    • Yeah, they re-invented it to be the BOSE of vacuum cleaners.

      I have nine children. We all live together in a 4000sqft house. One of the children, the four year old, is especially destructive. There are certain appliances that cry for mercy once they enter our house. Washers and dryers for example, we do 10 loads a day. We also have three refridgerators and a standup freezer. We go through dishwashers like candy. They typically last us 12 to 18 months. But by far, the appliance we abuse the most is t
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by onepoint ( 301486 )
        Amazing, up to ten loads per day, I don't know how you do it. but with 9 kids I can only imagine. but to my point. you would save money on industrial washers, yes they are expensive, and a pain to install. they just don't break down. I was a partner in a laundry, and I spent time researching my competitors. they all had 1 brand for the ultra large loads ( sorry it's been a while ) and it's because it never broke and when it did, it was a 30 minute fix or less. They use less water and electricity ( based on
      • Wow! Nine kids! God bless you.

        By the way, we have a roomba. It's complete junk.

        We have one too and my wife loves it. But I can definitely say that a house with nine kids is no place for a Roomba. They are just too fragile for that. But for the DINKs (Dual-income, no kids) and those with one or two older children, they are great. For a while, keeping my youngest child away from it was a bit of a chore, but she's no longer interested in it now.
    • by fatboy ( 6851 )
      Unlike BOSE, Dyson's suck really good.

      Everyone has heard "If it has no highs and it has no lows, it must be BOSE." My personal observation of BOSE products is that they have engineered their speakers to sounds mediocre no matter where you are standing in the room.
  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @02:59AM (#18540239) Journal
    By "create their own maps" they mean they'll drop build a sphere and drop all the unwanted stuff inside, making the sphere larger when necessary. Eventually it will have its own landscape inside and enclose the Sun in the process.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:01AM (#18540253)
    Everyone I know who bought a dyson regretted it. They were shoddy pieces of kit, incredibly shoddy when you consider the price.

    Most vacuum cleaners will handle whatever you throw at them, our Henry has coped with brick dust, dog hair, dust, fluff, and being pulled and banged around the house all over the place. I know people who just use their dysons for occasional use who've had the wheels fall off the things.

    Dyson's are a great idea, but I wouldn't buy one unless I hear they've worked out how robust comsumer devices nead to be.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moggie_xev ( 695282 )
      OK I have had a Dyson for 12 years.

      The first one died after 26 months they fixed it for free, when it was out of the 2 year warranty

      I have recently bought a second one when one of the bits fell off after another 9 years.

      They are solid vac's that can pick up my wife's long hair from the carpet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fabs64 ( 657132 )
        Solid? My parents have had the same vacuum cleaner, in a very big house with 3 kids for 23 years.
        It's not even really any more awkward than a new vacuum cleaner, and seems to pick up dust fine.
        But oh noes! It has a paper bag to replace every few months! :S
        • I used to think our old vacuum was "just fine." It brushed, it sucked, it had a bag to empty. We needed a 2nd vacuum (we were moving out, but several months apart). Long story short the new vac, an upright bagless hoover, took a "clean" room, freshly vacuumed by the old vac, and pulled out more dust and cat hair then I could have imagined would be in a clean room. I finally understood how someone could be a germaphobe after seeing what was in a "clean" room.

          Just because something has always worked doesn't m
          • by fabs64 ( 657132 )
            Dust and crap I don't see, doesn't exist.
            The old man is an asthmatic and even he wouldn't see the point in that, a lot of our time is spent outside in a VERY dusty/unclean environment, some invisible dead skin cells and cat hairs are not going to hurt you.
      • They are solid vac's that can pick up my wife's long hair from the carpet.
        Wouldn't it be a lot easier to just make her sit up?
    • by badfish99 ( 826052 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @05:29AM (#18540923)
      If you look around, you'll notice that Henry cleaners are used by professionals in places like offices and hotels. The ones you buy in the retail shop are basically industrial-quality cleaners with an amusing face and will stand a considerable amount of abuse.

      Dysons are designed to look pretty, and are heavily advertised. They are then built cheaply in the Far East. Suprisingly, they are a lot more expensive than the sturdier professional machines: I suppose a lot of money goes into advertising (or into Dyson's pocket).
      • Henrys are excellent machines and will go on for years, the only thing is that they are very poor at cleaning carpet because they are suction only and have no revolving brush bar. There is a power brush option for them but it cost nearly as much as the cleaner itself and you rarely see them.

        I do like Dysons even if they are a tad overpriced. One thing I value with them is that they hold all the dirt they capture and spew none back into the air, the exhaust air seems cleaner than the air in the room.
      • by MartinG ( 52587 )
        Agreed. My henry manages brick dust, rubble, plaster and everything else a house renovation project brings with it.

        The same stuff totally clogged my dc02 up to the point it was unusable. I ended up giving it away to someone who might have the time to strip it down and clean it out.

        I would recommend a henry to anyone. They are cheap and almost indestructable.
    • In my experience, Dysons are pretty good BUT and it's a big but, when they say change this filter every 3 months and that filter every 6, they're not kidding. The filters are the key. Several times our has lost suction badly and every time it has turned out to be a filter either needs washing or changing. After that it's good as new.
      They're also very good if you call them out of guarantee, sometimes you get free parts and if they have to send out an engineer, it's a single lowish price no matter what parts
    • by Alioth ( 221270 )
      Not to mention that Henry looks like the robot out of that journey to the black hole movie :-)
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:08AM (#18540281) Homepage Journal
    The people who clean my office walk around with a vacuum cleaner on their back and a cord trailing behind. I wonder if this will ever catch on for household use. It's surely a lot more practical than dragging the vacuum cleaner along behind you.

    • It's easy to use, easy to carry, convenient, etc... So of course the answer will be no
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JustinianV ( 1001348 )
      Occasionally, I am one of those people, though not at your office. Backpack Vacuums are great for upholstery and even very dusty hard surfaces. They are ill suited for cleaning carpeted floors very well, though, because they are essentially just canister vacuums, they just suck, they don't have brushes to really pick up the dust. But they are rather comfortable to use, especially with waist and chest straps. Schools often use them because it is easier to use that to get around desks than a traditional up
      • Thanks for the info.

        So you work for a cleaning company and you are also a regular slashdotter? It seems an odd match: like an atheist or a politician in a church. If you are interested in IT enough to enjoy slashdot, and you are knowledgeable enough about IT to understand slashdot, have you considered leaving the cleaning industry to work in IT for a 2x - 10x increase in pay?
    • In more commercial and industrial situations, where it's more intelligent to get the vacuum off the floor, it's a good idea. But for home use, by the elderly, people with bad backs, and children old enough to push a vacuum but not carry one (my mother made me clean my room starting around age 9) it's not practical at all to have a backpack model.

      When you consider the population at large, a floor model can be more versatile in terms of who can use it.
  • Hmm, if it was smart enough to lay out and rewind a mains power cord as it went, it would probably sell.
    If it could go into the next room and plug itself into the wall outlet (i could live with special reflectors on them to help the robot dock ) it would probably sell even to me.
    • THis is an absurd idea for a couple of reasons, but if those reasons could be overcome, it would be VASTLY better than batteries. I think it would require special plugs on outlets, which would be robots in themselves (to eject the power cord) and it would be crazily Rube Goldberg. On the other hand, it would mean being able to vac the whole house with REAL suction. It's nuts but interesting.
  • ... it will be a Roomba at four times the price, with a little better suction. However it will be made out of cheap fragile plastic and get through a new motor every six months, resulting in a brisk trade in parts from breakers on eBay.
  • by asolipsist ( 106599 ) * on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:30AM (#18540377)
  • A sphere? (Score:5, Funny)

    by hedgemage ( 934558 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:30AM (#18540381)
    Hmm, would the Dyson model be a massive sphere built around a star that would allow the entire inner surface to be vacuumed?
  • by Bo'Bob'O ( 95398 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:32AM (#18540389)
    We might want to re-think our use of the verb 'killer' ..

    I mean not that it's bad, just, rather disappointing when you realize the poster didn't mean a battle bots style show down in my living room!
  • ooh! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grrrl ( 110084 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @03:34AM (#18540405)
    I LOVE my Dyson, especially the turbo-brush head attachment. A Roomba-esque Dyson with a turbo-brush would be awesome - not sure how much my cat would like it though, given her hatred of the standard Dyson.

    Do current Roombas pick up pet hair well? And do pets like them? No-one I know owns a Roomba, they haven't really taken off here in Australia AFAIK...
    • My roomba picks up pet hair fine but there is a 'pet hair kit' that has a different set of brushes and a special brush cleaner.

      Roomba is pretty good at its job while being pleasantly simpleminded.

      Here in NZ many shops have had 'specials' on them and they seem to be getting more and more popular.

      Great for lazy buggers :) Put the robot down, press the button, walk away.
    • Re:ooh! (Score:5, Informative)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @04:45AM (#18540707) Journal

      Do current Roombas pick up pet hair well? And do pets like them?
      I have wall to wall carpets and two rather fluffy cats; not a good combination. I really need to vacuum two times a week or the place already starts to look messy.

      That's where the Roomba comes in handy. It does an excellent job of dealing with cat hair on carpet, about as well as my Miele manual vacuum. I set it off twice a week to keep the place looking tidy. I do have the "advantage" of living in a smallish 3 room apartment so a single Roomba does me fine.

      The cats don't mind the Roomba too much. One of them will just move to another room. The other will stay in the room, studiously ignoring the Roomba until it crosses her path, then she'll step out of the way giving the poor Roomba an annoyed, disdainful look.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        then she'll step out of the way giving the poor Roomba an annoyed, disdainful look

        Do cats ever give anything *but* annoyed, distainful looks?
        • by beavis88 ( 25983 )
          One of our cats has a great "get out of my way, or I'll split you open" look. That's about the only alternate, though.
  • by sethmeisterg ( 603174 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @04:27AM (#18540611)
    Miles Dyson! Didn't he create the precursor to the T-200 using the chips from the first Schwarzzenegger crushed in that press-thingie?
    • by Svenne ( 117693 )
      Yes, and I believe you are the first one to comment on that particular coincidence in this article.
  • by Palshife ( 60519 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @05:10AM (#18540827) Homepage
  • Killer! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Wellington Grey ( 942717 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @06:03AM (#18541073) Homepage Journal
    Please don't kill Roomba! He's my friend [].
  • by denoir ( 960304 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @06:03AM (#18541075)
    I've had a number of robovacs namely:

    -Roomba, unsophisticated and unreliable

    -Electrolux Trilobite, sophisticated and unreliable

    -Siemens SensorCruiser(same vac as the Kärcher RC 3000), unsophisticated and reliable.

    The roomba is well known, so no description is needed there. The Electrolux does room mapping with echolocation but has a bulky design so it gets stuck, it is noisy and on occasion it can't find its charger.

    The Siemens is has two essential pieces - the robot and the base station. The robot is small, very robustly designed and quiet. The base station is not just a charger, but a vacuum cleaner that empties the robot. Its main feature however is reliability - it always returns to the base station. Basically it vacuums for a short period 20-30 minutes, goes back to the station, charges and empties and goes at it again. After the vacuum period, it has battery power to search for the station for two whole hours - meaning in practice that it always finds home.

    At one time when I was on vacation, the Siemens was on for three straight weeks without failing. The roomba can hardly handle two hours without either getting stuck or missing the charger. The Electrolux can't go a whole day without a screw-up.

    The big point with robovacs is that they can go at it for a long time. Sophistication is not a necessity as a semi-random search will cover the entire area given enough time. So ultimately reliability is far more important than advanced sensors and room mapping.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sobrique ( 543255 )
      Agreed. The real advantage of robot vacuum cleaners (or lawnmowers) would be to just 'let them run'. I don't care it it takes a few days to cover all my floor space, what I do care about is that I don't have to faff around with unloading, recharging, or otherwise 'playing' with my new robotic toy.

      Get me a cleaning bot that runs for weeks without intervention, and covers the whole area over that sort of period, and I'll buy one. (So I might actually go look at the siemens one, it sounds like what I'm after

    • If you wouldn't mind: how much does each of those cost and where can I get them in the US?

      I found the website for the Sensor Cruiser, that looks like one sexy machine. I just can't find any dealers in the US (or on eBay)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by amlai ( 99096 )
      May I ask what are the prices?
  • by Builder ( 103701 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @07:18AM (#18541363)
    It brought a large smile to my face when I opened the box on my original Dyson (DC08 maybe?) and found along with the instructions for use, a rant about patents and how little they helped when he had to fight a bigger company.

    From what I can tell, even though he had patented all of his work, it still cost him an arm and a leg to stop Hoover from just copying and destroying him.

    Having said that, I'll never go back to another vacuum cleaner. It's sad, but Dyson has seriously increased the quality of my life. The pet brush and power attachment for the one I have made my house a LOT cleaner than before, and instead of 2 hours (sweep carpets THEN vacuum), I'm now down to 1 hour to do the whole job. And I'm healthier :)
    • I have never heard of anyone sweeping their carpet before vacuuming. Do you live in a carpeted barn or something?
  • by rhkaloge ( 208983 )
    Is Dyson hoping to take on the Roomba with a much more sophisticated machine?

    The advantage the roomba has, beside the OMGIOWNAROBOT factor, is that it goes under stuff. Thus, it doesn't actually suck - it's more a floor sweeper than a vacuum. To apply their super-expensive sucking technology to a robot, it will need to be much taller than the Roomba. What we'll get is the same machine with more marketing.

    Yes, I'm 32, and yes, I chuckled every time I typed "suck".
  • ...holy crap, I hope it outperforms the handheld. Three hours of charging for maaaaaaybe six minutes of operation. Then recharge. I was disgusted enough where I took it back after two days. (And I swear by my DC14 upright.)
  • by Chris whatever ( 980992 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @09:08AM (#18542093)
    I have a friend who had one of those cleaning aspirators at home, he was very happy to have something cleaning most of the dirt at home while he was away.

    Unfortunately he has a dog and on that specific day the dog pooped one large turd and the small robot just went over it and drag the shit all over his floor so when he came home he could where ever the machine went since is entire floor was covered with dog poop.

    Never used the machine again.

    one of the main reason is that his dog's manure was in every gear of the thing so it went straight to robot heaven.

    Maybe a poop monitoring feature should be installed
  • Still waiting for that...
  • by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @01:27PM (#18545749) Homepage
    One thing that constantly amazes me in today's increasing tech world, is that people will still tolerate carpet in the slightest. It is like a magnet and trap for dirt and parasites and odor. A hardwood floor is so much more hygenic, hypoallergenic, and easy to clean. If you think hardwood floors are expensive or cold, there have been great advances in the past ten years. Laminate hardwood flooring is great looking, cheap, and easy to install (click together floating floors, with minimal cutting; anyone who can use a saw can pretty much install ones). If you like the look/feel of ceramic tile, you can get them to look like this, too. There are new cheap (and safety approved) in-floor heating options for use with laminate floors, as well, for a very cosy heating option. And an area rug over a hardwood floor provides added comfort, and an easier to clean/replace option.

    Yes, laminate hardwood isn't quite as classy as real hardwood, but it's darn close, and it's cheap, easy to install, and tough as nails (well, tougher, really).

    I see carpets as something that will seem dusgusting, ancient, and obselete within a few years. It's interesting to see technology to take care of them advancing, when there are so many better options.
  • I own a Dyson (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Raven ( 30575 ) on Friday March 30, 2007 @02:21PM (#18546723) Homepage
    And I've owned many other vacuums in the past as well. The Dyson is easier to empty, easier to manipulate (add extensions, use the hose, etc), and more reliable than any other vacuum I've ever used or owned. Honestly, I was pretty surprised at Consumer Report's mediocre ratings for the Dyson as well. I chalk it up to three things:

    - They're nice to their vacuums. I suspect they don't try to vacuum up trash, paperclips, tacks, and other detritus. I've had my Dyson suck up things that stunned me... a normal bic lighter got sucked up without getting stuck. In fact, I've NEVER had anything stick inside yet, despite abusing it horribly. And if something did stick, the joins where they are likely to stick snap off easily.

    - They don't test them for long. The only thing I've had to clean on my Dyson is the sweeper brush, about once or twice a year... long hairs get wrapped around it, and eventually it interferes with the belt that turns it. It's relatively easy to remove that rotating brush... MUCH easier than any other vacuum I've owned. The screws that hold it in are large so you can remove them with a coin, and there's only three parts... the plastic bottom, the brush itself, and the drive belt.

    - They don't put a rating on how easy they are to empty. With the Dyson you just detach the container, hold it over the garbage... pull trigger... tap it to get the light dust out. Close it up. Compared to the dust, mess, and cost of bags and there is no comparison. Even compared with other bagless vacuums I've used, the Dyson is far easier to empty... many of them require you to lift and dump the container, or they don't seal well and let dust leak out. Other bagless vacuums often have filters you need to change for the light particulate dust.

    Is Dyson perfect? Hardly. But I don't think the Consumer Reports tests are comprehensive enough to rate the things where Dyson is superior. I've had my Dyson for three years now, and I'm still quite satisfied.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern