Who says wheels need to just be round? These unusual Reconfigurable-Wheel Track (RWT) wheels were developed by CMU National Robotics Engineering Center for DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program.
We can expect to see these on the war machines of the future and they may be the next step toward real-life Transformers like Optimus Prime.
These wheels can morph from a round wheel to a triangular treaded track quickly, in less than a second, which makes the vehicle good for a wide variety of terrains. The round wheels are good for hard surfaces, while the triangular tracked wheel is good for softer ones.
It’s pretty impressive to see the wheels in action. I’m hope we see them on more military vehicles very soon, then one day hopefully our own civilian vehicles will have them as well. There’s certainly more that can go wrong with these wheels compared to what we are using now, but they provide a lot more benefits too.
It’s just a shame that they only show them working on a paved parking lot. I’d like to see how they perform and change while on softer ground. This makes me think that they may not be ready for prime time.