Dyson is reportedly working on a robotic vacuum cleaner

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Dyson has been up to something. It’s not entirely clear what, exactly, but the web is currently abuzz with speculation that the company might be on the cusp of releasing a robotic vacuum cleaner. Earlier today, the company posted a teaser video to YouTube that features choppy, intentionally-distorted imagery of roving floor bots, a person using a traditional vacuum, and quick cuts to what appears to be floor-navigation schematics. It’s all very cryptic, and the footage is cut together like the trailer for a crappy Paranormal Activity sequel, but when you stitch together all the clues, the suggestion is fairly clear.

British appliance company Dyson has teased its latest product with a cryptic YouTube video. It’s not yet clear what the device — codenamed project N223 — will do, but it seems fairly likely that it’s going to be a Roomba-esque robotic vacuum cleaner. The video shows a lab from a panoramic robot’s-eye view as scientists tinker with its parts and smaller bots buzz past at floor level. Earlier this year, the company invested £5 million ($8.2 million) in a lab that focuses on helping robots “understand and adapt to the world around them” at London’s Imperial College. Founder James Dyson suggested his company would be building a robotic cleaner in an interview with BBC News in February, saying “mastering [robotic vision] will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies.” The inventor almost launched an automated vacuum in 2001, backing out of the project only when it became apparent the device was too heavy and expensive.

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