SIR JAMES Dyson is investing £5m in a new robotics lab at London’s Imperial College that will focus on developing the next generation of robots that “see and think” like humans.
The engineer behind the bagless vacuum cleaner has been working with the university since 2005 on creating machines that use vision to navigate their surroundings.
His aim is that soon there will be “a new generation of robots that understand the world around them” and perform household chores such as vacuum cleaning.
“We now have the mechanical and electronic capabilities, but robots still lack understanding – seeing and thinking in the way we do. Mastering this will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies”.
The lab will be led by Professor Andrew Davison, head of robot vision at Imperial’s department of computing. Another 15 scientists are also being recruited to work in the Dyson Robotics Laboratory.
The five-year investment will be supplemented by an extra £3m of match-funding from other sources.