Vehicle: Car: Wheel Alternative
Many Legged Wheel   (+8, -6)  [vote for, against]
Not tires... feet.

Ok... this one has been in my brain for a long time and is kind of hard to explain.

First off.... forget tires. Imagine an 7 (or 5 whatever works best) spoked wheel, and at the end of each wheel is a semicircular rubber pad (or tire patch).

Each spoke of the wheel, coming from the central hub is able to move towards the center of the wheel as it rolls and hits a bump. Only the spoke of the 'manny legged wheel' that hits the bump gets compressed.

The advantage to this is that the suspension would be combined with the drive shaft, linking to the center of the wheel, and all the legs.

This way the springs and shocks, even if not combined with the driveaxle, would be mounted low and parallel to the ground, lowering the center of gravity. As well, the suspension can be mated to the engine and make it a stressed part of the vehicle (much like an F1 car but in front instead of on the back), eliminating the need for front funder subframes and all the mounting points for the suspension towers.

As well as this, since the over all height of the wheel ramains more consisten, aerodynamics are also improved as the vehicle will remain more level.

Rubber is always in contact with the road, and the low profile tires offer low profile advantages, withe the wheel containing the suspenion travel and the trubber compression.
-- Giblet, Jan 02 2005

Radicle Rotation Radicle_20Rotation
[tiromancer, Jan 02 2005]

Soft Robot Powered By Shape Memory Alloy Spokes http://technovelgy....ews.asp?NewsNum=176
[tiromancer, Jan 02 2005]

Smart Wheels http://technovelgy....ontent.asp?Bnum=117
use sonar, laser range finding and millimeter wave radar. [ChiefTechnovelgist, Jan 03 2005]

as david_scothern points oot. [calum, Jan 04 2005]

Tweels from Michelin
Similar? [ConsulFlaminicus, Feb 01 2005]

Leg-barrow !
shameless link to own illustration of an idea for a barrow, Isle of Man style [xenzag, May 21 2007]

biked. I mean baked http://www.zefrank....cycle+With+Feet.jpg
[jaksplat, May 21 2007]

Pedrail pic [randylandy666, Jul 24 2007]

Pedrail pic [randylandy666, Jul 24 2007]

Isn't this a drawing by Escher?
-- DrCurry, Jan 02 2005

Isle of Man's flag.
-- david_scothern, Jan 02 2005

//since the over all height of the wheel ramains more consisten// (*t). Not by my understanding of geometry.
-- suctionpad, Jan 03 2005

I think the handling would be terrible.
-- RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2005

The spokes should definitely have shoes and sneakers on the end. In fact, as each shoe wears out, you can replace it with a newer shoe.
-- phundug, Jan 03 2005

What size would the shoes be? Could they come in stiletto for offroading?
-- contracts, Jan 04 2005

think how much fun you can have with hydrolics
-- redwheel, Jan 04 2005

and newmatics
-- FarmerJohn, Jan 04 2005

I saw something somewhere sometime (god, my memory....) which was somewhat similar, somehow. But a key point was that you could make the spokes active rather than passive, so that they provide the drive as well (the spoke which is just about the leave the ground extends to give a push). Legs are basically the same idea - you just keep recycling the spokes by bringing your back leg forward in time to be the next spoke in the sequence.
-- Basepair, Jan 04 2005

Suctionpad : The wheel would retain its overall height as the spokes compress, keeping the _center_ of the wheel at the _same height_ as it was before hitting the bump.

That's my meager understanding of geometry.
-- Giblet, Jan 08 2005

Red Green once made a tire out of some used sneakers, some metal tubes, and the handyman's friend.
-- RayfordSteele, Jan 08 2005

A buddy of mine's dad owns a large Canadian meat distribution company, and Red Green did a couple of commercials for him.

He has a roll of autographed duct tape from him.
-- Giblet, Jan 08 2005

Typo in your description: Where you say "at the end of each wheel," you mean to say "at the end of each spoke."
-- robinism, Jan 09 2005

There's a similar idea used in Neal Stepehnson's book _Snow Crash_. "Smart wheels". It's a very nifty concept.
-- gisho, Feb 08 2005

[gisho] & [Giblet] - What's with all the underscoring?

PS Despite the various mechanical problems in implementing this, [+] for an idea halfbaked in truly Seussian style.
-- wagster, Feb 08 2005

Check out the link posted by [ConsulFlaminicus]. If this concept is good enough for Michelin, then it's good enough for me.
-- robinism, Feb 08 2005

But what will I do with my $20,000 rims?

-- shapu, Feb 08 2005

[wagster] - It's the traditional way of indicating underlining in a text-only medium without markup, and the lazy way of underlining in any keyboard-input medium. <u>HTML markup</u> doesn't work in annotations, but I still habitually underline book titles.
-- gisho, Feb 08 2005

This is baked in 2001: A space odyssey. They used them for lunar vehicles.
-- Aq_Bi, Feb 09 2005

I don't remember the 2001 reference, but I do remember a crawler toy from the 1960s (Mattel?) for a seated astronaut GI Joe or similar, but the spokes were rigid, and it only had two wheels, and dragged the "tail" behind.
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Feb 09 2005

hey guys sorry but i believe this ingenious idea had been done before in the form of the pedrail

thanks Nick
-- randylandy666, Jul 24 2007

My idea is similar, excep the individaul feet dont articulate left and right, just up and down. The feet also have arced soles
-- Giblet, Jul 24 2007

random, halfbakery