Dyson, the company behind the bagless vacuum cleaner, has invested £5 million in research into domestic robots.
The five-year investment will create a dedicated laboratory, headed by Dyson creator Sir James Dyson, at Imperial College, London, and pay for 15 scientists – some of whom will move across from Dyson. An additional £3 million of funding will be provided by additional investors.
The newly created lab will concentrate on developing vision technology for robots that will allow the machines to perceive and adapt to the world around them.
The technology will be used in future domestic robots for the household, as well as to evolve existing robotic vacuum cleaners.
Dyson previously developed a robotic vacuum cleaner in 2001, which was pulled before production due to its high cost and weight.
"My generation believed the world would be overrun by robots by the year 2014,” Sir James Dyson told the BBC about the investment.
“We now have the mechanical and electronic capabilities, but robots still lack understanding - seeing and thinking in the way we do.”
"Mastering this will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies."