Sir James Dyson invented what many consider the world’s best bagless vacuum cleaner--you know, the one that doesn’t lose suction--only after failing many, many times. It took him 15 years and 5,127 prototypes to perfect his cyclone technology, and we suspect that he relished the near-endless tinkering.
But to hold onto a shred of sanity, such long, plodding marathons need to be leavened with quick, instant-gratification sprints, as Dyson’s 650 U.K.-based engineers know perfectly well. In a company-sanctioned competition, they were given about a week to build, and then race, vehicles made solely from spare parts and fueled by the power they could squeeze from a handheld vacuum.
As you can see from the video, the results were all over the map--from polished toy cars to makeshift go-carts. And there were even a few failures.