X

EU Visitor Notice: This Website Uses Cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, to provide analytical data to better serve our visitors, and to serve advertising to fund our operations. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy.

Your preference will be saved for 90 days, or until you clear your browser cookies.


I AGREE
I DISAGREE
Learn More
Cool Gadgets, Gizmos, Games and Geek Stuff on Technabob
VISIT OUR OTHER SITES: THE AWESOMER | 95OCTANE

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



LG HomeBrew

LG HomeBrew

Adam Sandler: Chris Farley

Adam Sandler: Chris Farley

Joyus Traveler’s Essentials Bundle

Joyus Traveler’s Essentials Bundle

Advertisement
Russian Aviar R67 EV Looks Like a 1967 Mustang, But is Anything But

Russian Aviar R67 EV Looks Like a 1967 Mustang, But is Anything But

2019 Ford Ranger North American First Drive Review

2019 Ford Ranger North American First Drive Review

2019 Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition Revealed

2019 Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition Revealed