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Dyson takes the ball and runs with it

Dyson takes the ball and runs with it

Meet the Dyson D39, years in the making and soon to delight Stepford wives everywhere.

It's the first barrel vacuum with patented ball technology for stable manoeuvring around tight corners. 

While barrel machines sit low to the ground and are often unstable and awkward to steer, the D39 sits on a ball and has a lower centre of gravity.

Coupled with a patented central steering system, it uses an articulating chassis and central pivot point for negotiating tight turns and circumnavigating sofas without snagging.

It also self-adjusts across floor types using an air pressure recognition switch, which automatically retracts brushes as it senses carpet pile and lowers them for hard floors.

Dyson’s R&D department, made up of 70 engineers, spent the last three years developing the vacuum. The team developed more than 500 prototypes for the product and endless hours testing the result, one of which involved 50,000 repetitions of pulling the machine around corners. They managed to fit 112 components including the motor, ducting and 6.5m cable inside the vacuum’s ball.

The acoustic team redesigned the motor casing and vents to minimise the sound created by the vacuum when collecting dirt (capturing particles as small as 1/5,000th the size of a pinhead). It can hold up to 2 litres of dust and dirt.

“We thrive on engineering challenges, and our first Ball barrel posed quite a few. Cramming over 100 components into the ball itself, we also compressed the airways, concealed the motor and ducted and devised a new steering mechanism. We’ve also miniaturised the technology to deliver our most maneuverable cylinder vacuum yet,” says Dyson’s founder, Jason Dyson.

To date there have been 64 patent applications and 55 registered design applications for the Dyson Ball cylinder machines.