ChallengeDyson publicly puts Dyson engineers to the test

Teched-out vacuum cleaner salesmen Dyson have begun displaying their engineers' willingness to take on extra-curricular engineering projects in a video entitled "Challenge Dyson 2013: Airborne." The challenge was to "design a machine that can fly, navigate the course, and try not to burst the balloons" using nothing but spare Dyson parts.

The results were varied: helicopters negotiating the obstacle course, airplanes veering off into a crowd of Dyson employees, and a variety of miniature UFOs darting erratically between the balloons. The event took place July 12 in Malmesbury, UK and Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The video was edited and posted to YouTube September 25.

Challenge Dyson is an ongoing public relations discussion with the public and functions as a brand-building initiative. It echoes Google's well known but largely downsized "20%" policy for personal employee projects, in which employers are encouraged to spend a good portion of the work week on creative endeavors. Anyone who wants to challenge Dyson's engineers to an engineering project can do so using the hashtag #ChallengeDyson on Twitter or Facebook.

Besides vacuum cleaners and viral YouTube videos, Dyson is also known for the Airblade hand dryer that dries your hands in fewer than zero seconds, as well as bladeless fans and heaters. The company, founded by actual British Knight Sir James Dyson, operates in 50 countries and employs more than 3,000 people.