Design Engine
Training Classes/Tutorials for Designers, Engineers, & 3D Professionals



Ideas, Thoughts, Perspectives

November 6th, 2013

Roadless Wheel Concept Adjusts to All Terrains

More articles by »
Written by: Design-Engine
Tags: , ,

 

Graduate student Ackeem Ngwenya has combined the 6000 year-old wheel with modern materials to develop a new type of all-terrain wheel assembly that switches from narrow to wide tread at the turn of a screw. His Roadless wheel system, while envisioned for rural applications in his native Malawi, has the potential to be as big a change to road (and off-road) transport as was the introduction of anti-lock braking.

The Roadless wheel system attempts to throw out the limitations of a pneumatic tire by substituting a tread material wrapped around a pair of rod networks attached by an axle. The rods are adjusted using a mechanism reminiscent of a scissor jack.

The Roadless wheel concept is based on networks of compliant arches whose shapes vary with...

When the disks on which the rods are mounted are far apart, the wheel takes the form of a wide tire of small diameter. When the disks are moved close together, the wheel becomes a narrow tire of large diameter. The proximate rods from the two disks are mutually attached to a fixed bearing (light blue circle).

A Roadless wheel adjusted to a variety of aspect ratios (Photo: Ackeem Ngwenya)

The tread of the wheel must be sufficiently compliant to adapt to the changing aspect ratio of the wheel, so is likely to be some form of elastomer. Alternately, the wheel can include compliant members that directly form the shape and supporting mechanism for the tread, which can then be as simple as a sheet of rubber.

A Roadless wheel made of spring steel rods connected to an axle by movable mounts whose ad...

The video below tells the story of Roadless, and also shows more clearly how it adjusts to varying terrain. There are a host of variations of this basic idea, whose genesis was to make it easier for people living in rural Malawi to more easily deliver their goods to market. It does not seem likely that this concept will stop there.

Articel Written By: Brian Dodson courtesy of Gizmag.com





Design Engine Industrial Design Training Pro Engineer
 
 

 

The Arrival of Super Magnesium

  In the course of focusing on new innovations, products and technologies I will typically avoid the unproven, recent laboratory breakthrough or the idea that might be several years away from being a tangible product available...
by Dave Mazovick
0

 
 

The Maker Movement’s Influence on the Design World

Lauded as the “first ever advanced-level guide to making anything imaginable,” The Maker’s Field Guide provides creatives with a handy frame of reference, specifically geared toward those who want to know the basics o...
by Ariel Berchtold
0

 
 

Why Dyson Is Well Positioned for the Electric Car Space

Written by Dave Mazovick Over the past few years it has become known and acknowledged that Dyson is planning to enter the electric car arena by with what it describes as innovative, forward thinking products that will rethink...
by Dave Mazovick
1

 

 

Afterburn: Design for Manufacturability Using SolidWorks

AFTERBURN: Design for Manufacturability Using SolidWorks WHAT: Design Engine is hosting our AfterBurn networking event with a discussion in our Chicago studio.  Join us Thursday, October 18th from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM at 4043...
by Scott Froemming
3

 
 

2018 International Design Excellence Award Winners Announced

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) announced this year’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) winners at their annual ceremony this past week. The annual IDEA gala, held this year on Sept. 19 at The N...
by Ariel Berchtold
0

 



One Comment


  1. james

    looks like we are getting closer to a mechanically advantaged smart material



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *