Robot tank treads [Mechanical engineering]

Robot tank treads

Dyson's Robot Vacuum Has 360-Degree Camera, Tank Treads, Cyclone Suction

All of our wild speculation about Dyson's mystery video (well, maybe not all) has just been confirmed with the announcement this morning of the Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner. If it looks familiar, it's because we got some of our guesses exactly right: the new robot looks just like the patent image we posted, and it's got a vision-based localization system that relies on a panoramic camera. Even those tank treads that we thought were a joke? Totally not a joke.

Here's what more than 200 Dyson engineers spent $47 million over the last 16 years creating:

The 360 Eye is one of the most advanced robot vacuums that we've ever seen, especially when compared with the myriad of Asian knockoff Roombas with gimmicky features that don't actually improve cleaning. Here's what Dyson says is new and amazing in the new vac, hot off the press release:

Vision and Sensing

The Dyson 360 Eye vacuum sees its environment using a unique 360° vision system [which is sensitive into the infrared], and then builds a detailed floor plan [based on high contrast visual features] to intelligently and systematically navigate around a room and tracks its position [SLAM, in other words].

Infrared sensors work in conjunction with a lens on the top of the machine that houses a 360° panoramic camera. The camera can see all the room at once so the machine can accurately triangulate its position. It then uses landmarks within the images to establish how it has moved between each frame and update its model of the environment accordingly.

The camera in the Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum takes up to 30 frames per second—enabling the machine to effectively interpret its surroundings. Because the shutter speed of the camera matches the machine’s speed of travel, its position is always accurate to within mm, so it knows exactly where it is in the room, where it is yet to clean and uses infrared sensors to detect where obstacles lie.

Algebra, probability theory, geometry and trigonometry combine to create the Dyson 360 Eye robot’s vision of the world. It took over 100, 000 hours from a team of 31 robotic software engineers to create the navigation system.


Like an all-terrain vehicle, continuous tank tracks enable the Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum to maintain speed and direction across all floor types, and over small obstacles [like socks].

Pitsco Pitsco TETRIX Tank Tread Chain Links (Pack of 100)
BISS (Pitsco)
  • Includes 100 tank tread chain links build up to 3-1/4 feet of tank tread or conveyor belts for students in grades 9-12 building TETRIX robotics projects
  • POM chain links are durable and snap together for user ease
  • Chain links can be separated for reuse in other projects
  • Chain links measure 8mm x 40mm (W x D)
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Pitsco Pitsco TETRIX Tank Tread Accessory Kit
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Diamond Comics Distributors Kotobukiya Frame Arms: Type32 Model5 Zennrai Multi Assemble Mechanical Unit Model Kit
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VEX Robotics VEXplorer Tank Tread Kit
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