You probably know Dyson for their vacuums, or maybe that too-powerful dryer you stuck your hands in while waiting for a flight. Have you seen their hair dryers or fans? Dyson develops premium products that move air. They blow if they don't suck.

The firm has a strange face-mounted air purifier. Dyson highlighted some of the research behind the product. It gave a glimpse into the future of products that expand beyond vacuum cleaners. That also includes robots.

At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Philadelphia, Dyson revealed a secret robot prototype that is part of broader research. There are some shots of a robot arm that looks similar to smaller industrial models.

The image is from Dyson.

The big difference is the attachment. This includes a hand that looks a lot like a human hand and a vacuum attachment. The firm notes that the robotic stuff doesn't come out of nowhere, a surprising amount of vision processing, artificial intelligence and autonomy go into something like a robot vacuum. This could be more than simple baby steps.

The image is from Dyson.

I am always cautious of pivots/expansions. Some, like Toyota's work with TRI, are thoughtful and deliberate, while others, likeSamsung's robotic efforts, appear to be more for show. Dyson bought an aircraft hangar at Hullavington Airfield in England in 2016 and has been refitting it. Some 250 roboticists are going to be moved to the new lab.

The image is from Dyson.

The company notes in a press release.

Dyson is halfway through the largest engineering recruitment drive in its history. Two thousand people have joined the tech company this year, of which 50% are engineers, scientists, and coders. Dyson is supercharging its robotics ambitions, recruiting 250 robotics engineers across disciplines including computer vision, machine learning, sensors and mechatronics, and expects to hire 700 more in the robotics field over the next five years. The master plan: to create the UK’s largest, most advanced, robotics center at Hullavington Airfield and to bring the technology into our homes by the end of the decade.

One hopes that will happen soon.