Visit the New Technabob Shop!Get Technabob in Your Mailbox Every Day! Join our Mailing List!
Awesomer Media Sites: THE AWESOMER | MIGHTYMEGA | 95OCTANE
subscribe to our rss feedsubscribe via e-mailfollow technabob on twittertechnabob facebook fan pageGoogle+follow us in feedly
Follow Us:

Omni-Crawler: Has the Wheel Finally Been Reinvented?

by Lambert Varias

At the recently concluded Innovation Japan 2011, a group of researchers from the robot-obsessed, ever-innovative Osaka University in Japan presented the Omni-Ball, a ball-shaped wheel that can move in all directions.  They then used the Omni-Ball to create the Omni-Crawler, a small vehicle that – yep, you catch on quick – easily move in all directions.

omni-crawler by osaka university

We can look at the Omni-Ball as an improved version of the swivel caster (the wheels that are usually attached to the bottom of shopping carts and office chairs). Compared to casters, which have multiple parts, the Omni-Ball is much simpler. It’s made up of two matching hemispheres attached to either side of an axle. The hemispheres can move independently or together as a sphere. Attach the Omni-Ball to a vehicle and you get the Omni-Crawler. Attach it to a gripper and you get the Omni-Gripper. Dip it in gel and… nah I don’t think that’ll work. Watch the video to learn more about the Omni-thingies:

YouTube Preview Image

It reminds me of the treads on this LEGO tank, but the Omni-Ball will probably make for a much smoother ride. As YouTuber TheExWarrior commented, it would be awesome if all cars had Omni-Balls instead of wheels because it’ll make parking much easier. It’ll also make driving – crawling? – a lot more fun.

[via DigInfo.TV]





Comments (1):

  1. SideDriver says:

    Interesting concept. FYI SideDriver wheels make parking easier for cars! http://www.SideDriver.com

Post a Comment:

Want a personal avatar on your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar now!

Note: All comments with links in them will be held for moderation in order to prevent spam, so you may not see your post appear immediately.


« Previous
Next »

Our Latest & Greatest Posts...

Game Boy and Camera Turned into 8-bit Print Gun

Game Boy and Camera Turned into 8-bit Print Gun

Brik Case Turns MacBooks into Expensive LEGO Baseplates

Brik Case Turns MacBooks into Expensive LEGO Baseplates

Hoth Bedroom Mansion Is a Great Way to Spend $15 million

Hoth Bedroom Mansion Is a Great Way to Spend $15 million

The Golf Iron Throne

The Golf Iron Throne

DIY Mechanical Keyboard: WASD Production

DIY Mechanical Keyboard: WASD Production

Win Prizes in the Technabob Shop

More from Awesomer Media...

The Awesomer Logo MightyMega Logo 95octane Logo