UK-based floor care maker Dyson recently introduced The Ball, or DC15, the company’s latest upright, bagless vacuum. The new vacuum features a new technology call The Ball™, which is said to eliminate the back-and-forth movement of the traditional
vacuum and increase the ability to maneuver around furniture and corners, as it replaces the need for rigid wheels on the base of the unit. The unit features a single, large ball to maneuver in any direction and features a pivot point, or gimble, between the machine and the cleaning head. This, according to Dyson, allows the cleaning head to maintain constant contact with the floor even when steering around furniture.
“One of the main differences between the Dyson DC15 and other vacuums is the fluidity of The Ball,” a spokesperson for Dyson tells APPLIANCE. “The new technology means that you are no longer restricted to using your entire body to steer. Pulling and pushing like a traditional vacuum cleaner may seem like a minor irritation now, but imagine giving up your car’s power steering.”
Dyson had to develop a new undercarriage for the DC15 to accommodate the unit’s range of motion. “One of the engineering challenges in the design of the ball was to develop an undercarriage and valve mechanism, which allows the vacuum cleaner to change from it’s maneuverable ball mode, to the stable hose mode,” a Dyson spokesperson explains. “In this mechanism alone, there are five linkages, 10 pivots, three sliders, and five springs. The mechanism has undergone rigorous testing of more than 110,000 cycles to ensure that it is reliable.”
Taking 3 years to develop, the vacuum features two motors. The first is located inside the ball to power the unit, which helps to keep a center of gravity close to ground. The second motor is located on the cleaning head and powers the brush bar. Dyson says the brush bar is controlled by gears instead of a belt, which eliminates the need for replacement and allows it to be removed for cleaning. Also, the brush bar controls are featured at the top of the unit, for convenience, and the unit features a 14-ft telescopic wand. The DC15 also features the company’s first metal plate on the bottom of the cleaning head, which the company says was added for increased durability during cleaning.
The DC15 is equipped with the same Dual Cyclone technology found on other Dyson vacuums, which features both an outer and inner cyclone to prevent dust from clogging the dust chamber. Dyson released The Ball in the UK in March 2005 and as of press time, the vacuum was scheduled for an April 2005 release in the U.S.