X

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

I agree
Learn More
Great Geek Gifts in the Technabob Shop! Follow Us: Subscribe | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
AWESOMER MEDIA SITES: THE AWESOMER | MIGHTYMEGA | 95OCTANE
Cool Gadgets, Gizmos, Games and Geek Stuff on Technabob

Omni-Crawler: Has the Wheel Finally Been Reinvented?

by Lambert Varias
Advertisement

At the recently concluded Innovation Japan 2011, a group of researchers from the robotobsessed, everinnovative 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:

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]

Deals in The Technabob Shop



Advertisement

More from Awesomer Media...

RoboCop Heads Back to Theaters for 30th Anniversary

RoboCop Heads Back to Theaters for 30th Anniversary

Zygote Short Film Is Neill Blomkamp at His Best

Zygote Short Film Is Neill Blomkamp at His Best

Fender Bluetooth Speakers

Fender Bluetooth Speakers

Eddie

Eddie

Nissan LEAF e-Pedal: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Brake Pedal

Nissan LEAF e-Pedal: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Brake Pedal

2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium: It’s Only Good at Everything

2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium: It’s Only Good at Everything