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Diagram of a ballbarrow from James Dyson's 1977 patent

The Ballbarrow was a variation of the wheelbarrow design,[1] by James Dyson and was released in 1974 in the UK.[2] It featured a moulded plastic hopper on a steel frame and a spherical plastic wheel, allowing increased manoeuvrability. Dyson said that the surface area of the ball, larger than that of a conventional design, made the wheelbarrow easier to use in soft soil and more laterally stable with heavy loads on uneven ground.[3]

The original design featured a galvanised steel or copper hopper, forming integral rear legs. Conventional barrows use a bend in the frame to form these legs. Later the design was changed to a plastic hopper, with an optional clip on height-extension piece.[4]

The Ballbarrow won the Building Design Innovation Award in 1977.[5] Dyson continued with the ball-wheel concept in his design for the Trolleyball boat launcher in 1978, and the DC15 vacuum cleaner in 2005.


  1. ^ "Dyson Ballbarrow". Deconstructing Product Design. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Top Ten Machines Developed by Dyson". The Telegraph Online. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Inside Dyson: Ballbarrow". Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Ballbarrow floats on mud", Popular Science, February 1976
  5. ^ "James Dyson". Oxford Index. Retrieved 24 May 2015.