The next time you want to take out some anger on an appliance for forcing you to do housework, you might want to consider one engineered for kicks.
Like most technology experts, we don’t like to see products or appliances misused or mistreated. A dropped phone makes us grimace, as does seeing cracked screens through the streets of where we travel. The more expensive gadgets just confuse us when people break them and don’t get them fixed, but we get it: repairing can be expensive.
That’s why it’s nice to see companies dealing with the possibility of easy breakages long before they occur, potentially preventing them in the first place.
Dyson has this week shown off a product that has been engineered to take a bit of force, because vacuum cleaners often bear the brunt of excess force through tugging that sees these bodies fall over, crashing hard into the ground and potentially damaging the exterior, eventually leading to damage on the inside.
But Dyson’s latest Cinetic Big Ball vacuum cleaner has been built to handle these sorts of vacuum-related traumas, with a self-righting ball body that is a little smaller than previous generations and has been made to right itself when toppling.
To do this, Dyson has put the heaviest parts of the vacuum near the bottom of the unit inside of what looks like a sphere, so when kicked over or toppled, gravity kicks in and does its thing, sending it back up.
And it works. We didn’t kick it — we felt bad — but Archie Henderson (above), a Senior Engineer at Dyson, did, and apparently is so used to kicking in during testing, he’s become skilled and proficient at it.
“Everyone [at Dyson] had a go,” said Archie, who kicked the Dyson Big Ball a few more times just to show that it would right itself every time.
“It solves the problem that most people have had at one point,” he said.
The Dyson Big Ball also solves a few more problems, with the ball following you around thanks to some adjusting mechanical components so that it moves nicely along the floor, a handle in the want that has been designed almost like a super cool hinge to give you more movement for cleaning without the excess tugging, and a great way of cleaning the bin inside which Dyson calls the “hygienic dirt ejector”.
That’s a neat way of saying “automatic bin scraper”, because as you release the contents of the dust bin into say a garbage bin (or just a bag), an internal silicone collar mechanism scrapes down the inside of the barrel to take out any dirt or other particles trapped inside the barrel, meaning no cleaning with your hands ever again.
We’re told years of research went into the Big Ball by Dyson, with over 300 prototypes built and around 1.8 tonnes of test dust sucked up by the vacuum, an amount that translates to two full-size Mini cars worth of dust.
Test dust is also very unusual, because it has to be brought in from Germany (yes, someone actually sells and manufacturers dust; and you thought you were in the wrong line of work).
In any case, the Dyson Big Ball has seen more test dust than most vacuums, and it’s even done the real work by travelling and cleaning over 16 kilometres of floors while in testing. That’s more than many of us would walk on a regular work week.
It also arrives with some very cool vacuum heads, so much so that you’d never think you’d use the word “cool” with a vacuum cleaner.
Things like an floor-detecting vacuum head that can switch between hard-floors and carpeted are included in every unit, though depending on how much you spend, you may find other heads, such as one designed to go at the back of crevices while another deals with hair that has been shed by the pet, or possibility the significant other.
Inside the vacuum, the Cinetic — pronounced “kinetic” strangely — system separates any dust into areas, taking in dust and dirt at a speed of over 160 kilometres per hour before it whooshes to around 290km/h inside the system, which uses a monumental amount of G-forces to separate the particles and not get the unit clogged.
And that means the vacuum should last a while, too, which is good news for anyone who has ever had a vacuum die only after a year of use.
“It’s definitely repairable,” said Henderson. “There’s no way it could break down in two years,” he said adding that “the design life is considerably longer than that.”
That’s good news for your home, and better news for the kids you get to do the vacuuming around the home for pocket money, as they’ll possibly be able to grow with the vacuum cleaner.
Dyson’s Cinetic Big Ball vacuum is available in online at Dyson now for a starting price of $699, with stores receiving product later in April.