Dyson 360 Eye Review – Is Futuristic Looking Robot Really the Best?
It isn’t their first robotic vacuum but this is the first to be available to consumers but at a very expensive price – currently around $1,o00 in Amazon.
How does this stack up against the current market leaders the Roomba and Neato? That’s what we will find out in this review.
James Dyson has said that current robotic vacuums are just gimmicks, saying that “they’ve got whiskers sticking out of them – whiskers don’t clean anything they just disturb the birds”.
He had long resisted selling these types of vacuums to the public saying that “I’m not rushing out a gimmick robot to pretend to people we’re cleaning the floor”.
From the looks alone, it looks nothing like any of the current robotic vacuums in the market that utilize a round puck shape (with the exception of the Neato) that usually stands around between 2.9 and 3.5 inches tall.
The 360 Eye does not look anything quite anything the current crop of robot vacuums.
It almost doubles the height of any current Roomba or Neato vacuum which hurts its ability to clean under furniture but this is made up by its superior suction (here’s a hint, it uses the V2 motor – the same motor you’ll find inside the DC44 and DC35).
Pet Hair Removal
Ease of Use
Before I go on with this beautiful piece of robotic machinery, let me first share with you the features:
- Features the most high tech navigation system out there – Dyson calls this the 360 degree vision
- Uses the V2 digital motor found inside the DC35 and DC44
- Utilizes the same radial root cyclone technology found in all of their vacuums
- Has WiFi connectivity (that you connect using the Dyson link app – available for both iOs and Android devices)
- The full width brushbar means there is no need for side brushes
- Instead of using wheels, the 360 Eye uses tank tracks which provide better traction and climbing on area rugs or carpet
- Small horizontal footprint – only measures 9” wide or around 4 inches narrower than a Roomba 980
- Utilizes probably the most high-tech and reliable navigation system out there
- Best performing robot vacuum out there in the market
- Docking station does not take too much space
- It’s not cheap
- Very tall (over 5”) which means it won’t fit under most beds.
- Relatively short run time when you compare it to other robot vacuums
What to expect from this futuristic robot cleaner?
As with all other Dyson vacuums expect a well-designed product. From the smooth chrome like finish to the tablet-like charging port the 360 eye screams high tech.
In terms of aesthetics alone there is very little not to like about this.
You will also notice that this is a rather tall robot cleaner, close to 2 inches taller than the Roomba and Dyson representatives say that this feature is lowest they could go to fit the cyclonic filtration system and the dust bin which I must say is one of the best in of all bagless vacuums in terms of capturing fine microscopic dirt.
Uses a motor from a cordless vacuum
Of course when you compare it to a full sized upright, it won’t match the sheer suction but when you compare it to other robovacs, nothing comes close to it.
If you look underneath, the opening for the vacuum runs the entire width and it uses the same motorized brush found in the old DC-series cordless vacuums so more or less expect the same performance.
The charging base is also a thing of beauty.
At first glance you’d think it’s a mac book pro but in reality this A4 sized dock takes the least space of all the robot vacuums I’ve reviewed and probably takes the least amount of time to recharge – around 2.45 hrs.
Another feature that differentiates this from other robots is the thing that moves this around, instead of using the standard rubber wheels the 360 Eye uses tank tracks for several reasons.
First and foremost is traction, these tank tracks will provide more traction and well help this robot climb thicker pile carpet better any robotic vacuum out there.
It uses a camera mounted at the center of the vacuum that sees 360 degrees – hence the term 360 vision system. Dyson says this system uses complex mathematics, geometry, trigonometry and probability theory to navigate around your home.
The navigation system uses SLAM software that constantly stiches together a 360 degree view of the room and it “remembers” where the areas it has cleaned and areas that hasn’t been cleaned.
Here’s a video of the Dyson 360 to show you the methodical navigation pattern it uses to scan and clean a living room.
This in theory means that it will clean faster, more efficiently with less bumps and scratches on your furniture when you compare it to a Roomba 880.
If you look at how it navigates, it first goes to the middle part of the room then works itself outwards towards the perimeter in “square” patterns.
Edge cleaning is a bit of a question mark as it won’t hug baseboards tightly as a Roomba would, often times only going within a centimeter or so according to TrustedReviews.
Since the navigation system relies heavily on a camera, you cannot run this robot in pitch dark conditions or it won’t navigate well. Unlike the older Roomba and Neato robots that rely on infrared lasers so make sure that you run this during the day or have your lights turned on.
The great thing about a camera based system is that even if you have black furniture or chrome plated furniture, this robot will still see it unlike systems that use infrared or laser guided systems.
WiFi ready plus a smartphone app!
Dyson ditched traditional controls and instead developed an application to you can use to control this robot. To connect the app and robot you will need to login into the robot’s own WiFi network with a password printed on the manual (and robot).
According to Trusted Reviews, there will be connectivity issues when you turn on the app and connect it to the robot that can be resolved through closing and restarting the app again.
With the app you can schedule cleaning times, view the area covered the by robot in each cleaning session, and lastly start and stop the robot remotely even when you’re at work as long as you have internet connectivity.
Bare Floor Cleaning
In my opinion this robot will perform its best on bare floor surfaces. The carbon fiber filaments in the brush roll work best picking up static filled dust and medium sized debris like rice or crush oats.
To show you how this performs (and navigates) on hardwood watch this…
If you look closely at the video, it picked up almost every bit of grain on hardwood. In terms of picking up stuff on edges, it does struggle to consistently hug the edges. The lack of a side brush did not hinder its performance because of the wide cleaning path.
Here’s another demonstration this time on tiled floor where they scattered 50 grams of sugar on different areas of the room…
And no surprise it was able to pick up 48 grams of the sugar scattered, even in trouble areas.
On carpet expect roughly the same performance as a Dyson DC44 which means it works best as an in-between deep cleaning session maintenance tool. It will not deep clean carpet but it makes up for it with hands-free operation.
You will notice that you will need to empty the bin quite often when you first run this but after a while (provided that you run this everyday), you will need to empty it less because it will help keep your floors clean.
But do not expect this to deep clean because it does not have the suction power to do so. You will still need an upright vacuum for this task.
Here’s a cleaning test on carpet, again with 50 grams of sugar…
It didn’t far as well as it only managed to pick up 37 grams out of the 50.
Great news, even if you have thick rugs, the 360 Eye will still be able to climb over it thanks to the tank tracks but again, it do not expect this to deep clean but it is a good everyday cleaning tool that will keep dirt piling up on your rugs.
Pet Hair Removal
When you combine the suction power and the motorized brush this robot vacuum maybe the best at pickup pet hair out of the bunch and if you read the reviews this is one of the main reasons why folks save up to buy this.
But the downside to the brush roll design is the maintenance. You will need to remove the beater bar and remove the pet or human hair that rolls rolled up in there at least twice a week. If you have a lot of pets, you may need to clean it more.
Will It Clean Stairs?
Unfortunately even a $1,500++ robot vacuum cannot clean stairs just yet.
You can schedule this robot using the Dyson link app once a day, seven days a week and you can schedule it at different times. The beauty of the app is that once you’ve connected it to the robot’s WiFi, you can control it just about anywhere with an internet connection.
On a full charge this robot will run for roughly 45 minutes, not very long but because it is more efficient and meticulous in its navigation, it will cover a lot of ground.
If you read reviews from tech blogs such as Engadget, Mirror.co.uk and Pocket-Lint the result is pretty much unanimous, the Dyson 360 Eye is the best robot vacuum out there despite of the exuberant price.
It has is equipped with the strongest motor and utilizes a high tech 360 camera that aids in the navigation.
When you look at the specs, this robot vacuum basically has the similar power as a Dyson DC44 – around 20 air watts give or take and none of the other brands have that power on tap but the downside to this much power is the height and that was the main issue pretty much all the negative reviews I read.
While cleaning power isn’t a question mark, there are some issues with the height, particularly cleaning under furniture.
Consumers advise that you measure the height of your furniture (the clearance that is underneath) to see if it has at least 12 centimeters of clearance to see if the robot will be able to go through it.
If the floors underneath aren’t flat, the robot might get stuck under there as one consumer reported.
Another potential issue is lighting under furniture (or the lack thereof), if there is too little lighting, the robot can wander and potentially run out of battery before it could go back to the dock and recharge.
Despite having a camera based system, the 360 eye still has issues when it comes to glossy or black furniture – it still does not see it and will bump into them. The same issue would be glass floors, it will not go over it – it thinks it is a cliff.
When the robot is docked, you will notice that the bin is facing the charger so to empty it you would need to remove the robot from the dock to empty it. Not a big issue but it can be a nagging one over time.
I’m sure Dyson will rectify all of these issues in their future releases as they are the type of company that does listen to consumers.
Still a very good product
Overall, cleaning performance isn’t an issue here, a majority of consumers do agree that the cleaning aspect of this robot is a given and it will clean up loads of pet hair, dirt and debris on the floor.
The biggest problem would be the height and navigation – despite the 360 vision system, it still has the same struggles as other robot vacuums – struggles with black and shiny furniture and will not go over glass floors because it thinks it’s a cliff.
$1,000 is a pretty big investment but fortunately it comes with a 14 day money back guarantee – just enough time for you to test it out in your home.
This robot vacuum is a huge step in the right direction and if you know how Dyson operates, it will only get better over time.
If you look at pure cleaning performance, without a doubt the Dyson 360 Eye is the best robotic vacuum out there in the market and nothing comes close when you look at the spec sheet.
The thing that holds it back from being a bestseller is the price – at over $1,500 this is an expensive piece of machinery that is out of the reach of majority of consumers but for those who can afford it, it is a really nice luxury item to have at home for maintenance cleaning purposes.
The 360 vision navigation system is no doubt high tech, allowing it to see 360 degrees and marking the areas it has already cleaned – making it one of the more efficient robots around unlike the 880 that can miss spots here and there.