Tires or Tracks? Why Not Both, With This Shapeshifting Wheel From the US Military

Discussion in 'Auto News' started by GTPNewsWire, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. GTPNewsWire

    GTPNewsWire Contributing Writer

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    Cowboy likes this.
  2. Obelisk

    Obelisk Premium

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    Technology is amazing!
     
  3. Auditore

    Auditore

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    It seems the military is watching alot of Speed Racer

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    Good thing I was born in 1971. I'll the 1972 brethren deal with that one.
     
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  5. TexRex

    TexRex Premium

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    :lol:
     
  6. daan

    daan Moderator

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    Do you really want the motors for your armoured vehicle to be in the wheel?
     
  7. TenEightyOne

    TenEightyOne Premium

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    It's the solution for many autonomous field drones - it requires less space in the main 'body' and they're easier to change/service. Providing that they're built to withstand the same (or greater) level of aggressive strike as a standard wheel then it shouldn't be a problem. Designers might argue that one disabled wheel still leaves three 'engines' intact with no shock transmitted through their drivelines.
     
  8. IfAndOr

    IfAndOr Premium

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    That extreme suspension travel METS is great. Just the job for the roads potholes in the UK.


    It is isn't it. Makes you wonder what you'll hear about next.
     
  9. artem9000

    artem9000

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    So, one shot in this wheel will disable the whole vehicle? I am not an expert, but it sounds not practical, what's the difference from the basic tires then?. Buggy with active suspension is pretty interesting, but I was much impressed when Bose invented this in mid 90-s.

     
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  10. Obelisk

    Obelisk Premium

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    That car moving without any body roll is absolutely freaky.
     
  11. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Sometimes I wish I lived in a country that didn't feel obligated to spend mind boggling amounts of money on defense.
     
  12. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    I can't stop watching it change from one form to the other. It's mesmerisingly weird.
    Why? It has three others...
     
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  13. artem9000

    artem9000

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    Yes, but what's the difference from the basic tires? Apart from x100 price.
     
  14. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    These convert into tracks. Tracks are better for extreme terrain, particularly if it's loose like sand or exceptionally soggy. But tracks suck for road use and vehicle dynamics, so they convert into regular, rotating wheels.
     
  15. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Presumably when it's in wheel mode it's not nearly as good a tire though still, because it looks like it's more like a circular track than a tire. I bet that's a rough ride, limiting top speed.

    Super cool anyway.
     
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  16. Auditore

    Auditore

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    Yes and with some jumping jacks

    That car just jumped without a ramp what kind of sorcery is this?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  17. artem9000

    artem9000

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    TL;DR: electric motor.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Auditore

    Auditore

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    This image is full on sci-fi and it's a tech from the 90s simply insane.
     
  19. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    Why?
     
  20. artem9000

    artem9000

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    It's crazy that modern cars with tons of electronics still use McPherson suspension as the best option, it's already 70 years old!
     
  21. Northstar

    Northstar Premium

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    While this may be developed for military use, I can't help but think that this technology would/will be incredibly useful for mountain rescue missions as well as getting first responders to remote locations during winter months.
     
  22. Minty

    Minty Premium

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    Because it's effective and affordable, and the technology has been refined substantially. Audi has a car that lifts one side to protect passenger in a side-impact, and pretty much any luxury or performance vehicle these days has some sort of magnetic ride control, so the general idea is working it's way into the market. Even the Ford Fusion Sport uses active suspension to reduce pothole impacts.

    They said in the video that the tech is extremely heavy and expensive, so it was really more of a tech demo than anything. Manufacturers are finding other ways to achieve similar(albeit less perfect) results without sacrificing cost or weight.

    The tech in this video is likely also heavy and expensive enough that it'd probably fail if it were sold to regular consumers, but it serves a purpose for the military so it doesn't really matter what the price tag is as long as it gets the job done. Just like most military devolpments, it currently only exists for military use(and may trickle down to emergency services as @Northstar suggested), but man is it fun to watch it in action.
     
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  23. artem9000

    artem9000

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    Auto-industry is fully driven by marketing teams, would the most of the major manufacturers go full-electric if Tesla wouldn't sell that good? No need to say, that Musk didn't care about marketing and just provided his own thinking because he has enough assets for it.

    I guess it's not bad to sacrifice the cost and weight, isn't it? It was expensive 2 decades ago, if automakers would be interested, they would buy this technology and today it would be used in Ford Focus.
     
  24. Minty

    Minty Premium

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    Full electric cars were a considerable and important step forward in the auto industry and it was only a matter of time before someone doubled down on their development. So not really the same kind of importance as more comfier suspension.

    The only people who know how that suspension works in detail are the people working for Bose. The fact that they're still talking about it so many years later makes me think they're still working on it, but they've deemed it too expensive and heavy for the consumer market as it stands. There could be a number of things that make the suspension impractical aside from what they said, like energy storage and generation(electromagnets of that size are pretty power hungry, and you can only recapture so much of it), reliability, durability, ease of maintenance, etc. The people creating the very suspension you're talking about are the ones who would know best whether or not it's viable, so if you can't take their word for it I don't know what else to tell you.
     
  25. TRLWNC7396

    TRLWNC7396

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    That was some impressive technology on display. Wonder if it will ever be domesticated... ;)

    On the electric suspension, there is now a system in several cars that uses ferrous particles that can be activated or deactivated as needed to stiffen or soften the suspension.

    Not quite jump-the-board stuff, but it's a lot closer than it used to be!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018