Engineer James Bruton is fascinated with omni-directional wheels. For this video, he set out to make a vehicle that rolls on three split-hemisphere balls which can move in any direction. He’s since added a seat to it, resulting in what is basically the world’s most powerful office chair.
The Brick Bending channel has made some really creative LEGO builds, often by combining lots of flat bricks into geometric patterns. For this construction, they assembled more than 3100 1×6 plates into star-shaped sections, then layered them together to create a jiggly rolling structure lovingly known as the Sunflower Worm.
It’s pretty easy to get a LEGO wheel spinning fast with a motor, but what about with human power? The Brick Experiment Channel set up a LEGO flywheel and gear mechanism which he proceeded to spin using only his fingers and a piece of string. He measured the rotations using a laser and a marker to calculate its speed.
Getting lug nuts off of a wheel can be hard work. This ingenious gadget makes easy work of the job using a crank and gearing that amplify your input by a 15:1 ratio to turn stubborn lug nuts without power tools. Just be careful not to overtighten them going the other direction. The set includes 17mm, 19mm, and 21 mm sockets.
Inspired by the expensive airless tires seen on construction equipment and concept vehicles, The Q set out on a mission to make his own shock-absorbing, puncture-proof bike tires using a similar design. What’s even more impressive is that he built them using only PVC pipe, nuts, bolts, and the tread from a standard bike tire.
Wheels are good at maneuvering vehicles over most surfaces, but they’re not always great at climbing irregular or rough obstacles. Engineer James Bruton fabricated these unusual “Pedrail” wheels that use a system of articulated “legs” and “feet” to roll and walk over uneven terrain. They look cool, but are they practical?
YouTube channel Brick Bending specializes in creating unexpected geometries using LEGO bricks. This satisfying video shows how they built an oversize wheel using three kinds of hinged components in a repeating pattern. We imagine you could use this method to build a wheel as large as you want, given enough bricks.
Inspired by Goodyear’s concept for a ball-shaped tire, engineer James Bruton created a spherical wheel that can roll in any direction. After validating the design, he built a trio of the wheels and attached them to a robot as a testbed for the technology. We’re impressed with the little fella’s agility.
Normally, a vehicle’s suspension sits between the frame and the wheels to absorb shocks. After seeing a vintage photograph of a car wheel with springs built into it, the car hackers at Garage 54 built their own to see how it would affect ride quality. It sounded like a busted shopping cart after the rubber came off.
Wheel rims from a car seem like an odd material for building a wood-burning stove, but that’s exactly what André Göbel of Create Custom Designs did, a set of old steel rims to provide the structure for a cylindrical stove inspired by Bullerjan stoves, which use bent pipes to circulate cold air from the bottom and out of its top.
We already know that using saw blades as wheels can provide traction on ice. With this in mind, The Q replaced the wheels on his bicycle with gigantic circular saw blades, then took it for a little spin on a frozen lake. We know it looks cool, but it seems like this could end very badly.
Being able to change a car tire is an essential skill that everyone should learn. Stunt driver Terry Grant has figured out how to change a car tire while the car is still in motion. Back in 2010, he set a Guinness World Record for the fastest wheel change on a spinning car, a feat he managed to achieve in 3 minutes, 10 seconds.
Based on a similar, but simpler design to their airless car tire concept, Bridgestone is showing off a bike wheel and tire combo which use a series of flexible thermoplastic spokes to absorb shocks and can never go flat. They hope to put them into production by 2019.