Insights: Vacuum cleaners

Why do vacuum cleaners fail? What are the barriers to repairing them?

Full analysis to come – but read on for results and data below.

Where does the data come from?

Open Repair Alliance partner The Restart Project facilitated a microtasking quest – DustUp – where participants looked at Open Repair Alliance data on over 3000 previous repair attempts of vacuum cleaners. The aim of this quest was to sort the records into buckets of fault “types”.

Community repair events are busy events with volunteers concentrating their efforts on the people and the devices that turn up. The data that gets recorded by a fixer is their description of the situation at the time. Microtask participants would read this textual description of the problem and solution and judge whether it fitted any of the specific fault “types” that were presented. Based on consensus of these opinions, the outcomes for the devices were assigned.

The opinions were provided by students of University of the Arts London (UAL) and members of the repair community.

The fault types that were available to choose from, and their descriptions, are listed here:

Download the DustUp data

You can download the outcome data from DustUp here:

The full Open Repair Alliance dataset is available here.

Support for this work

We would like to give huge thanks to the students from UAL for their support on this quest.