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Spherical "wheels"

JohnSnowNW

Active Member
Feb 13, 2015
2,626
2,748
Minnesota
I came across this site, Students designing an omnidirectional sphere-wheeled electric motorcycle
Spherical wheels, gyro controlled could help in reducing friction, easy parking, steering etc. I also feel that might distribute weight better (I am not a physicist or mechanical engineer) and cause les damage to roads.
Any thoughts?

Seems like such a system would perform poorly in inclement weather, roads with high ICE traffic (oil and grease), and even small wear from use.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,007
1,446
NJ
I came across this site, Students designing an omnidirectional sphere-wheeled electric motorcycle
Spherical wheels, gyro controlled could help in reducing friction, easy parking, steering etc. I also feel that might distribute weight better (I am not a physicist or mechanical engineer) and cause les damage to roads.
Any thoughts?

Air filled tires already distribute the weight of the car almost perfectly across their contact patch so it wouldn't change. There might be ever so slightly less wear on the roads where parallel parking is a frequent occurrence. However that wear is never going to be the reason a road falls apart.

It should also do just fine in low traction situations assuming it was designed well.

The big problem would be the expense and ridiculous complexity of such a system for very little benefit. Particularly for an easy to park motorcycle. Forklifts would be the best use case for such a wheel, but that one would be a poor design for a heavy load like a forklift. And besides omni-directonal forklift wheels already exist.
 

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