Dyson ramps up move to robotics
Consumer electronics manufacturer Dyson is ramping up its shift to robotics, looking for nearly 1000 engineers.
The company has developed robotic hands for grasping objects, indicating that the tech company is moving beyond robotic floor-based vacuums. It is recruiting 250 robotics engineers across computer vision, machine learning, sensors and mechatronics, and expects to hire 700 more in the robotics field over the next five years.
It aims to create the UK’s largest robotics centre at its site on Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire that was previously the base for the Dyson electric car design, as well as establishing a new London laboratory close to the Dyson Robotics Lab at Imperial College, and in Singapore at Dyson’s global headquarters.
It has been refitting one of the main aircraft hangars at Hullavington Airfield to prepare for 250 robotics engineers. This is part of a £600m investment this year.
The R&D work at Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire is being led by Dyson’s Chief Engineer Jake Dyson, son of founder Sir James Dyson. Some of the details of the robotic systems under development are discussed at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Philadelphia.
The company is half-way through a huge engineering recruitment drive. 2,000 people have joined the company this year, of which half are engineers, scientists, and coders.
“Dyson employed its first roboticist 20 years ago and this year alone we are seeking 250 more experts for our team. This is a ‘big bet’ on future robotic technology that will drive research across the whole of Dyson, in areas including mechanical engineering, vision systems, machine learning and energy storage. We need the very best people in the world to come and join us now,” said Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer at Dyson
Until now, Dyson’s robots have been floor-based vacuum cleaners, the first of which, the DC06, was designed 20 years ago. The company has hinted about robots for washing dishes and even climbing stairs.