It’s crazy to think that modern cars still have the same wheel layout as the wagons used by the ancient Romans. That configuration, of course, shapes and constrains the design of automobiles.
That may change, radically, if tire manufacturer Hankook’s WheelBot concept becomes reality. Here’s how it’s configured:
Unlike existing wheels, “the WheelBot can freely move 360 degrees regardless of the space where it is located,” the company writes. “With this feature, it is possible for the WheelBot to move in any direction not only on the road, but also inside a building or anywhere without a road.”
“In addition, the existing wheel-type transportation had limits in space due to its structure of wheels, while a platform which combines a WheelBot with a Pod (A streamlined space which can be separated from transportation such as airplane and vessel) is integrated with a building to create new space; usability and expandability of the WheelBot are limitless.”
Here’s more examples of how different platforms could be fitted out with multiple WheelBots:
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As you might guess, the company doesn’t appear to have a working prototype; all they’ll say is that “Hankook Tire increased its reality of the future scenario project and carried out more sophisticated technology research by making a system which can actually be driven and tested.” Their PR person is a pro!