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Almost unstoppable wheelchair

There's nothing to sphere but sphere itself.
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prior art [link]

Too hard to sketch, no time for 3d rendering, but I would very much like to see this one built so...

Picture an ordinary inflatable exercise ball but far more robust... and maybe self sealing/inflating or foam filled.
Now imagine a seat which sits above this sphere on a bell-like housing on casters.
Inside this housing are two heavy horizontal rings held apart from one another by bearings and powered by a single electric motor to turn in opposite directions while not in use and plugged in to an electrical source.
Beneath the seat a single drive-wheel on a controllable pivot is in contact with the surface of the exercise ball.

The opposed flywheels guarantee that the chair can not tip while they are in motion and energy can be extracted from them by centrifugal clutch to power the drive-wheel while disconnected from a power source.

The amount of air displaced by the sphere will be engineered to offset the weight of both the chair and occupant so that not only will this sphere-chair be able to tackle off road terrain, it should also be able to cross bodies of water without tipping or sinking.
Slowing either of the flywheels allows for lateral rotation.

A morphing pressurised outer skin of the sphere could adapt to differing terrain on-the-fly by measuring slippage, in much the same way an ABS system taps the breaks of your car when on ice, so that studs can extend or retract and obstacles such as stairs or hiking trails become no obstacle at all.
In fact this chair should be able to go places that your hiking buddies will have trouble keeping up.

...

I want to make one.


Orb-it Orb-it
By [FJ] [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 14 2016]

Neval Cossack http://www.cossackm...cles.com/dnepr.html
[not_morrison_rm, Feb 15 2016]

Kugelpanzer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kugelpanzer
Of dubious practicality. [8th of 7, Feb 15 2016]

Dean Kamen's wheelchair. https://www.google....gB&biw=1067&bih=481
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 15 2016]

The Animal https://www.youtube...watch?v=Afofc_Jt86s
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 15 2016]

Rolling robot moon explorer Alternative_20rolli...t_20moon_20explorer
Not enough Ling on the HB lately, I think. Maybe he will come of of retirement with some one liners. [bungston, Feb 16 2016]

Morp Hex https://www.youtube...watch?v=yn3FWb-vQQ4
[pashute, Feb 17 2016]

water ball ride https://www.youtube...watch?v=qPKKtvkVAjY
[pashute, Feb 17 2016]

life in a ball https://www.youtube...watch?v=i8gYG307ZhM
use this for protection [pashute, Feb 17 2016]

[link]






       //Almost unstopable   

       Just use one of the Ural/Neval Cossack motorbike with sidecar...a combination of 2 wheel drive (the sidecar wheel) heavy steel construction and puny drum brakes,in all the reviews they mentions how difficult it is to stop...
not_morrison_rm, Feb 15 2016
  

       Baked.   

       <link>
8th of 7, Feb 15 2016
  

       As cool as the Kugelpanzer is, it is not an almost unstoppable wheelchair... why I bet it wouldn't float on fluidised sand even.   

       Everyone's a critic ...
8th of 7, Feb 15 2016
  

       [+] it does of course have a bouncy-ball mechanism as well.
FlyingToaster, Feb 15 2016
  

       Such a good idea you lost your p! (heh!)   

       I was thinking this would look like the robot Bigweld from the movie Robots. It could if you put the flywheels inside the ball itself; this would save space too. Morphing skin seems fussy but changing "tire" hardness according to substrate would not be hard. A low pressure tire for climbing / soft substrate and a high pressure tire for speed.
bungston, Feb 15 2016
  

       A fun concept, but aside from the amphibious aspects, one large wheel actually sounds much less unstoppable than other arrangements. For example, a single spherical wheel cannot climb a step larger than its radius, and practically is limited quite a bit less than that. A configuration like Dean Kamen's wheelchair can go up steps larger than the diameter of each tire because its motion has a lot in common with walking. If you make the sphere large enough to tackle larger obstacles it soon becomes two wide.
scad mientist, Feb 15 2016
  

       // It could if you put the flywheels inside the ball itself//   

       That was my first thought, but if the mechanisms are within the ball then any breach means loss of function and potentially flywheels getting loose.   

       // A low pressure tire for climbing / soft substrate and a high pressure tire for speed.//   

       Low enough pressure to climb stairs will negatively effect contact with the drive-wheel I'm thinking.   

       //a single spherical wheel cannot climb a step larger than its radius, and practically is limited quite a bit less than that. A configuration like Dean Kamen's wheelchair can go up steps larger than the diameter of each tire because its motion has a lot in common with walking. If you make the sphere large enough to tackle larger obstacles it soon becomes two wide.//   

       I very much like the standing aspect of Dean Kamen's [link] chair design and that portion could certainly be incorporated into this design but a standard stair riser is only seven inches in height which is much less than the radius of an average exercise ball.   

       It's not the amphibious part of this that's cool, (not that that isn't a major selling feature), it's the unparalleled off-roading aspects which will be the greatest advantage.
...and for that we need a morphing sphere which can adapt to changing terrain.
I had something in mind sort of like the classic toy vehicle called The Animal. [link]
  

       This thing will chew.   

       //it does of course have a bouncy-ball mechanism as well.//   

       Later. After the military pays someone to change the sphere to a geometric waffle shape capable of withstanding landmines and small ammo fire they will mount hardware, (enter robot Bigweld), rather than civilians, and 'then' it will get a bouncy ball mechanism which will let the chair ascend several stories at a bound.   

       It's gonna be pretty cool.   

       So... who do I gotta bribe to see this thing built?   

       /For example, a single spherical wheel cannot climb a step larger than its radius/   

       You would need to get bouncing and bounce your way up.   

       This reminds me of some of Lings rollbot ideas. Let me see...
bungston, Feb 16 2016
  

       // this thing built //   

       Sp. "dis ting builded"
8th of 7, Feb 16 2016
  

       / Low enough pressure to climb stairs will negatively effect contact with the drive-wheel I'm thinking. /   

       I want a scheme for a drive system capable of driving a spherical wheel no matter how flat. Even if reduced to a flopping jellyfish I don't want the flopping to stop. Perhaps if the drive wheel itself were also deformable - made of brushes rather than a firm wheel on the inside of the sphere?
bungston, Feb 18 2016
  

       If I remember correctly someone with the moniker [Steve de Groof] once posted an idea for an un-inflated collapsed ball shape which would act as a 360 degee Tank-tread.   

       Unfortunately there only seems to be one single mention of him on the entire halfbakery now.   

       strange.. and kinda sad. He had good ideas. Maybe he made the big leagues... in which case, Yay! but still...   

       I remember him well. A quick halfbakery search for degroof turned up quite a few mentions.
RayfordSteele, Feb 19 2016
  

       Ah, it's his full moniker that only brings up one hit.   

       ... well two now.   

       Where do we affix the howitzer?
RayfordSteele, Feb 20 2016
  

       Well... right next to the whyitzer of course.   

       I just realised that if the flywheels spin fast enough to negate any tilt at all, then this craft should be able to scale any incline less than ninety degrees if it can find purchase.   

       ...I've figured out how to make the whole thing collapsible and light enough to lift with one hand while deflated as well, but that's for another day.
For now I think I might just whip up a basketball sized RC version using turn-tables and an old cordless drill... hmmm, or maybe an angle grinder. muhahaha
  
      
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