As the EU Bans Vacuum Cleaners, Dyson Introduces a Robot House Cleaner

Starting Monday, Europeans will no longer be able to buy certain types of vacuum cleaners thanks to a new European Union (EU) ban that went into effect this week. Dyson and other vacuum makers have asked for a judicial review of the controversial ban, meant to improve energy efficiency. Of course, cleaners aren’t the only thing banned in Europe. The EU has taken a stance on everything with watts running through it, says CNN.

Meanwhile, Britons and other Europeans conducted a buying spree to snap up all of the soon-to-be-illegal vacuum cleaners, according to a Daily Mail report. Some people are even stockpiling them in order to cash in on the after-ban black market that might come. The public says that the legal lower-wattage vacuum cleaners still available legally take much longer to do the same job as the higher-watt counterparts, and critics have said that the ban will do little to reduce electricity usage.

The EU ban is a first step in a series that will eventually have vacuum cleaners of more than 900 watts no longer legal for purchase in Europe by 2017. Russia Today reports that the European Commission report that led to the ban on vacuum cleaners included many other appliances that the EU is considering for regulation as well.

Europeans may not have to suffer for long, however, as Dyson has introduced their backup plan to teh vacuum cleaners ban. Robots.

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An event in Tokyo today had Dyson showcasing a new vacuuming robot called the 360 Eye. It gets its name from its 360-degree field of vision via its camera and thus makes sure the area it’s working on is actually clean, stepping forward from where other robotic vacuum cleaners merely drive over the area and assume the job is done.

WebProNews reports that the new Dyson vacuum not only looks at the dirty area surrounding it, but actually looks at the entire room and then maps a course to clean it in the most efficient way possible. Using both the camera eye and infrared sensors, it plots a course and avoids obstacles (including pets, children, and your feet) as it does its work.

Video from Dyson show the vacuum cleaner in action, including how its tank tread-like propulsion keeps it from getting stuck where other robotic vacuum cleaners fear to tread.

While the new Dyson 360 Eye may not be the God-particle of vacuum cleaners, it’s a step forward from trudging around your EU home with under-powered or illegal vacuum cleaners.