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James Dyson plans ROBOT ARMY to take over the world

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British vacuum cleaner wizard James Dyson is sticking £5m into a new project with Imperial College London (ICL) designed to produce robots that can help out with household chores.

His eponymous company will stump up some of the cash for the lab over five years, with another £3m coming from elsewhere. Some 15 scientists, including a few of Dyson’s own boffins, will be hired to work on the ‘bots, according to the BBC.

"My generation believed the world would be overrun by robots by the year 2014. We now have the mechanical and electronic capabilities, but robots still lack understanding - seeing and thinking in the way we do,” said Dyson, according to the Beeb.

"Mastering this will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies."

The project will apparently be led by professor Andrew Davison, a long-time Dyson collaborator and current head of robot vision at ICL’s department of computing.

He said the team’s R&D efforts would be focused on systems which “allow machines to both understand and perceive their surroundings - using vision to achieve it”.

Dyson’s efforts in the robot space could put the plucky British company up against the might of web giant Google, and the ever-inventive forward thinkers of Japan.

The Chocolate Factory has been not-so-quietly hovering up companies in the space, first buying military robotics firm Boston Dynamics in December, and then snapping up London-based AI firm DeepMind Technologies last month.

However, it’s Japan where research into robots appears most advanced – being built to do everything from play rock, paper, scissors to keeping astronauts company in space.

There’s even a pretty creepy fembot restaurant in Tokyo’s red light district of Kabukicho.®

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