Dyson has shown off its legendary design books – the tomes carried around by the innovative company's engineers to put some of the sketches and ideas in that end up in the products.

The idea books are on show at Gadget Show Live 2011, and illustrate how the concept of the ball-based vacuum cleaner was developed.

The books are taken form the engineers when they are complete and carefully logged and stored to make sure that nobody steals the ideas.

Dyson book

Secret squirrel

James Dyson is one of Britain's best known technology entrepreneurs, and his eponymous company has revolutionised the vacuum cleaner as well as making (air)waves in the fan and dryer markers.

Dyson book

The sneak peak at the design books illustrates just how seriously Dyson is about innovation, and the company assures us that the man behind the brand still spends much of his time coming up with fresh concepts himself.

Dyson book

The ball design showcased is the company's attempt to make vacuum cleaners more manoeuvrable, moving away from traditional layouts to a spherical wheel.