Over a year later, the bot vac is finally getting a release date — in Japan. The price clocks in at around $1,243, well above iRobot’s newest $900 Roomba, the connected 980.
The thing is, the features that impressed us a year ago have already been incorporated into other vacuums. The Samsung PowerBot also has a camera pointed at the ceiling to help keep track of its location. Both Neato and iRobot have app-controlled robots now. However, Dyson’s app is a little more robust than iRobot’s at least; it allows you to see a map of what the robot has cleaned in real time. What also sets the 360 Eye apart is the 100,000 RPM Dyson digital motor, as well as “track rollers.” These resemble tank treads more than wheels and supposedly keep the Dyson from tripping up when transitioning from a bare floor to a rug or carpet. Still, for those who have been waiting for Dyson to make a robotic vacuum, the rest of the world should see it on sale in 2016.
Dyson made more news today because it’s filed legal proceedings against Bosch in the Netherlands and Siemens in Germany, according to The Telegraph. “Bosch has installed control electronics into some of its machines to wrongfully increase energy consumption when in use — to cheat the EU energy label,” James Dyson said. “Their behaviour is akin to that seen in the Volkswagen scandal.”
An independent testing lab found that Bosch’s vacuum sensors use more energy when bags are full, but the company uses clean bags during its testing to achieve better energy ratings, Dyson claims. It seems he has a bigger beef with the actual EU regulations than the companies themselves, though back in 2012, the company accused Bosch of paying a mole to get “secret motor technology” from Dyson. (It’s like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. Or a Taylor Swift song.)
For its part, Bosch put out a statement saying, “We do not understand these assertions by Dyson and we strenuously reject them.”