Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Square-wheeled Car

The wheel has been re-invented.
(+4, -4)
  [vote for,

This car has square wheels.

The small cab holds driver and passenger. It is mounted on a chassis that slides across two parallel rails. Affixed at each end of each rail, right-angled in towards the inside of the vehicle is a round ball-bearing hub, the center of a tire-sized square wheel. The rails, therefor, are attached to the "outside" of the square wheels. The hubs are motorized. The two square wheels in front, and the two in back, are attached to each other with an axle.

(1) To move forward, the cab chassis slides on rollers in a retractable housing along the rails to the forward-most spot.
(2) A mechanism attached to the chassis lifts it onto the front square tires and it rests there. The chassis width equals the axle length plus the tire width, such that it just fits resting on them.
(3) The rail roller housing is then retracted into the cab.
(4) The motors on the front square hubs then lift the rails, along with the rear square wheels, up and over the top of the vehicle and back down to the ground in front of the car. The squares that the chassis sits on are now the rear wheels.
(5) The chassis then extends the roller housing and the mechanism lowers the chassis onto the rails.
(6) The chassis rolls forward and we are back to (1). Repeat.

Now. How does this puppy turn corners? Simple!

(7) The chassis slides to the middle of the rails.
(8) The roller housings extend grips that can lift the rails and wheels, like a weightlifter.
(9) A rotating foot extends from under the chassis and lifts the whole kit and kaboodle off the gound.
(10) The car rotates the desired amount on the foot.
(11) The foot is retracted and the vehicle lowers to the ground.
(12) The roller housing releases the grip on the rails and the chassis rolls to the front of the rails. Back to (1) to continue.

Nice car.

globaltourniquet, Dec 27 2007

Global Composites, Inc. http://www.globalcomposites.net/
The links under "Reinventing the Wheel" are of relevance to this idea. [BJS, Dec 30 2007]


       Confused. I take this as a sort of tank where, rather than treads that treadle around sprockets at each end of the machine, the passenger compartment slides forward and then the "feet" flip forward (which allows the passenger compartment to move forward, yadda, yadda, yadda). Is that close?
phoenix, Dec 28 2007

       Do you watch the Discovery Channel?
BJS, Dec 28 2007

       How would the suspension work? I'll bun on the premise it might work well on ice roads.
ed, Dec 28 2007

       Can it go up steps?
egbert, Dec 28 2007

       Well, I don't care if it helps you drive on ice, or how slow it is, or if it goes up steps.   

       It's good enough for me that it's a car with square wheels.
globaltourniquet, Dec 28 2007

       Semi-pointless, impractable and unbelieveable expensive to build. Good job, [+]
evilpenguin, Dec 28 2007

       Sliiiide - bump, rest, flip, bump - sliiiide - bump, rest, flip, bump...
globaltourniquet, Dec 28 2007

       Amazing! Sounds remarkably similar to a robot concept I made to climb and wash windows. Only the square wheels were suction cups instead.   

       Glad to know I'm note the only crazy one out there. Although, it does sound far more applicable to navigating windows than to traversing roads.
guitarguru102, Dec 28 2007

       //Glad to know I'm note the only crazy one out there//   

       New to the 'bakery, I see. Don't worry, now. You're amongst fiends.
globaltourniquet, Dec 28 2007

       Y'know, these wheels don't even need to be square, In fact, triangular would be better.
BJS, Dec 29 2007

       //You're amongst fiends//   

       sp: ?   

       oh yeah - move along...
po, Dec 29 2007

       The definition of "fiend" from American Heritage Dictionary:   

       1. 1. An evil spirit; a demon.   

       1. 2. The Devil; Satan.   

       1. 3. A diabolically evil or wicked person.   

       2. Informal One who is addicted to something: a dope fiend.   

       3. Informal One who is completely absorbed in or obsessed with a given job or pastime: a crossword-puzzle fiend.   

       4. Informal One who is particularly adept at something: a fiend with computers.   

       You figure it out...
BJS, Dec 29 2007

       Let me get this straight.
1. Are the rails running front-to-back, as opposed to side-to-side?
2. Are the wheel hubs rotating in the same planes as normal wheel hubs?
2(a). If so, then in what sense are they //right-angled in//?

       Also, can I have big thumping bass speakers in mine? (I wouldn't want them in a normal car, but they seem somehow appropriate for this).
pertinax, Dec 29 2007

       I wish I could computer draw.   

       The rails are running front to back. They are attached to the hubs of the square wheels at the ends by 90 degrees.   

       Here is a kind of top view of the rails and wheels:   

oooo <---wheels--> oooo
..| <----axles-------> |
oooo <---wheels--> oooo

       The (currently) front motorized hubs (of the wheels that the chassis rests on) lift the rear wheels by the rails up and over the top of the car, to land on the ground in front of the car. The chassis now rests on the rear wheels. The chassis slides to the front and those hubs lift the rear wheels up and over, etc.   

       Oh, and [BJS], even if triangular would be "better" (and I don't know what value system you are using, but...), they would not work for this at all, because then it would not be a square-wheeled car. And that is the entire goal here. If you want to half-bake a triangle-wheeled car, you are encouraged to do so...
globaltourniquet, Dec 30 2007

       Wait, you mean it "walks," like Big Muskie? Baked. Baked much smaller than Muskie, I'll admit.
elhigh, Dec 31 2007

       [elhigh] - nope. Not even slightly the same. I fear I am not being clear.
globaltourniquet, Dec 31 2007

       Reading it carefully, it looks to me an awful lot like it is walking Muskie style. Chassis, then carriage, chassis, then carriage. Am I missing something?
elhigh, Jan 02 2008

       Big Muskie was lifted off the ground entirely on two cylinders, then the legs moved forward. The cylinders retracted and he was lowered. He then slid forward on the legs. This is somewhat similar to how my car turns the corner, but its forward locomotion method is very different. My car rests on the front wheels while the back wheels are lifted up and over it in a large half-circle to land in front, then it slides up to the front wheels. Even if Muskie's locomotion method is patented, we could get a separate patent for this (if it weren't so silly and useless, that is). It is sufficiently different.
globaltourniquet, Jan 02 2008

       //The (currently) front motorized hubs ...//   

       Thank you for that paragraph in your anno. I was annoyed by how confusing the idea was to me, but that anno helped.
bnip, Jan 03 2008

       Although there are other ways to bake square-wheeled cars, most wouldn't ride smoothly. This one would, right? At least when it's going straight? That's the impression that I get.
bnip, Jan 03 2008

       How do you manage traction control on this?   

       More importantly, what's the best quarter-mile time?
elhigh, Jan 03 2008


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