Split Your Wheel Into Eight

I don’t mean take a knife and cut it into eight parts but instead follow the design that our friend Charlie has in mind for us. He has devised the Dynamically Augmenting Wheel System or simply DAWS. His aim was to design a wheel system that would allow a car to shift its center of gravity without losing its traction footprint.

DAWS is kind of inspired by a motorcycle wheel. Lemme explain, a motorcycle wheel allows you to shift or roll your body into a turn giving the bike improved maneuverability and is accomplished by having rounded wheels. This also implies that a bike wheel has a “decreased footprint size when compared to a car wheel and sacrifices traction hurting acceleration, braking and turning speed.”

DAWS essentially features eight segments that are guided on a liner bearing at the hub the wheel can shift the entire vehicle without decreasing footprint size. The motion is kinda similar to our foot movement than a conventional wheel.

Do check out the animation version here, its right at the bottom of the page.

Designer: Charles Pyott

127 Comments

  • pink says:

    this is already an existing idea
    it was shown on an exhibition in the Netherlands titled “platform 21” in 2007
    the project itself was titled “the new gypsies”

  • Wig says:

    Why not shift the entire wheel as one unit? Mechanically speaking a lot simpler and the COG of the vehicle is shifted equally well.

  • Adamski says:

    i agree with Wig..and then one can actually use a tyre too!!

  • Victor Assis says:

    I just don’t get one thing. When the wheel is “inclined”, it’s like a slash /alright? but the rotation axis is in the center right? So when it rotates, won’t it /\/\/\/\/\? Because if it does, it will be reaaaaly funny to ride this car… It would shake our asses out of our bodies.

    Let’s suppose it doesn’t, because, the top parts are always pushed outwards (or inwards, depending on the curve), and the bottom parts are always pulled inwards(or outwards, along the rotation.It would be very challenging, mechanically speaking, but let’s suppose it’s feasible.

    In this case… Why push the top parts outwards? Why move the top parts at all? you would just have to pull or push the parts as they are about to touch the ground, basically, the bottom part up to the middle of the whell. Moving the top parts is waste of energy.

    Besides that, I think a big problem would be to make the rubber sections safely attached to the wheel.

    But to be honest… what’s the point? Does the benefit justify the enormous expense on such a system? It’s kinda like designing a anti-gravitational elevator to get to the top of a bunk bed.

    • Henrique Staino says:

      Victor, you have said everything there was to be said. With that name, I reckon you are either brazilian (like me), wich would be nothing more than expected, or portuguese, wich would be a surprise, since the intellect of the portuguese isn’t exactly sharp.( eheheahheahea)

      Abraços!

    • Nick says:

      Uh, not trying to appear “for” the design, but you move the top parts because it’s a wheel and it rotates. every part of the wheel is the down part at one point or another.

  • Ian says:

    i would be concerned about the force on those magnets… in a 1g turn they would be holding the weight of the car.

  • ML says:

    It’s an interesting idea, but extremely overkill for regular everyday driving. It probably wouldn’t even see adoption in the sports car arena either unless they can bring the weight of all the components to current levels, which is unlikely.

  • M.S.W. says:

    Interesting concept.
    Curious how it would hold up under rain,snow ice and strong braking whilst taking a corner.

    • redawn says:

      i think gravel and sand would do it in.

      we need less moving parts not more. . .

      simple and functional beats complicated and fanciful everytime.

  • M.S.W. says:

    BTW where are the brakes located? They don’t appear in any incarnation of the concept.

  • MadCow says:

    Isn’t the whole idea of being able to adjust the Cast, Camber and Toe for wheels the whole point? i guess with this it will be done automatically? i think this would look better on a transformer.

  • whole lot of “stuff” for a very small (and unproven) advantage. On the up side he modeled it, down side it adds to un sprung weight nullifying any real advantage.

  • Sean says:

    2 words Fric tion

  • Keith says:

    This concept will do absolutely nothing to give more traction to the car. The real motion that is needed is a hinged portion that keeps the tire surface flat to the road, not sliding in and out.

  • Henrique Staino says:

    Summing it up:

    Charlie, boy, you are a moron.

  • Ekove says:

    I think this is a highly complicated design from an engineering perspective when there are much simpler solutions. And as one of the above posters said, the actual solution needed is to keep the tires flat, while this achieves this slightly better thant traditional tires, it still doesn’t do so at the needed level to justify it’s complexity and possible price.

  • Luke says:

    Why bother with something so complex? Wouldn’t either a buckling wheel with a sharp edge (à la Michelin Tweel) or a rigid wheel with a deeply filleted edge (not unlike a motorcycle wheel) on a tilting suspension (like a Piaggio MP3 or that Yamaha Tesseract concept) make more sense than a fustercluck of mechanical components? A four-bar linkage seems a lot simpler than however many non-redundant moving parts this thing has.

    Furthermore, while keeping the wheel in laterally static contact with the road would certainly increase lateral traction around a hard turn, would it really be enough to keep a car from skidding if the vehicle were moving fast enough that this would be engaged?

  • Andrew says:

    This is the single dumbest thing I have ever seen for a car. The location of the CG has nothing to do with the traction, and even if it did, there are much easier ways to move it than this idea. Beyond that, the design shows no brakes, a complicated design, high unsprung weight, and a lack of knowledge of physics or the problem at hand. FYI, solid tires only work on forklifts, and would have much less grip than an inflated tire. You sir, give a bad name to designers. It is no wonder engineers don’t take ID’s seriously.

    • Luke says:

      If I’m not mistaken, this isn’t about actively shifting the center of gravity so much as it is about maintaining traction as the center of gravity shifts. It could be likened to an ABS, but for maintaining lateral traction rather than increasing stopping power.

      Still, don’t take that as a defense of this concept. I personally agree with your sentiment.

  • Bobo says:

    Even if weight, complexity, friction and stones getting jammed in between the segments didn’t kill it, vibration certainly will. It would be undriveable at speed: Think about all the unbalanced forces when cornering. Then add in real-road bumps.

  • Eric says:

    Ya I agree this is something that should be in Transformers 2, not a real road…

    • Denis F says:

      Hey all you Trogs and Luddites, sharpen up.

      Leave your Model T mentality at home under the Pillow

      Everyone laughed at Archimedes and look what happened.
      So think of it as a starting point.
      As for Victor—–this is the name of one of the best Enginering companies in Japan.

      • Victor Assis says:

        I think being luddite is a bit far from being practical, don’t you think? We all here obviously have a taste for technology. We’re also all entitled to an opinion, and the common opinion here is thumbs down.

        This solution isn’t practical at all. Besides being absolutely non-functional, it would be too expensive and even if it accomplish the task it offers, it would not be worth it.

        As for my name… well, Victor is a common name in Russian (with a K), English and Latin. Assis, on the other hand, is a Latin surname, and yes, I’m Brazilian, but I don’t really feel like dishonoring Portuguese people.

  • Bowds says:

    Why reinvent the wheel? Its probably the greatest design we have ever come up with. Besides that this would not work, better off using a round tire and tilting it like a motorbike.

  • Kyran Cinflaria says:

    Contrary to all you gluggs, I think this is a great idea. It would definitely accomplish it’s goal of smoother turns as the wheels would be allowed to bend with the curve. If you’ve ever rolled a wheel around the corner, you would know that wheels slant when they turn. As for your “issues” modern suspension systems could mostly compensate for the reduced comfort of an inflatable wheel and the brakes can be on the axle rather than the wheel itself. Tilting suspensions are a valid idea, but they decrease safety and comfort. You have to move the top of the wheel to compensate for moving the bottom, otherwise it would be nearly impossible to stabilize. The weight would be nearly the same as we have VERY light metals, and people buy electroniccaly fuel injected engines, so why not spend a little more on turn-easy cars.

    I don’t want to be domineering, but think a little more before you post.

    • What is needed here is a bit of research on vehicle dynamics. One of the core concepts is un-sprung weight and the other is keeping the contact patch of the tire flat against the road. One key problem with this (among many) is the contact patch is tiny, as the “tire” (or rubber band) cannot deflect.

      This reduction in grip combined with the increase in un-sprung weight means that it will provide a worse ride with worse grip than a standard system. Lets consider a failure mode, where one of these stop working in a fixed position, if it is not the default position your going into the ditch.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t want to be domineering, but think a little more before you post…

    • Luke says:

      Tilting suspensions would decrease safety and comfort? How so?

      If you tilt the wheels into the curve, the same effect is achieved as what this design attempted to accomplish and be mechanically simpler to boot. (Hell, the designer was even inspired by leaning motorcycles.)

      If you tilt the frame into the curve such that a line drawn from the head to the crotch of a person seated upright is perpendicular to the net force experienced by a person (using the vehicle as a frame of reference), then comfort is dramatically increased, with riders only feeling an increase in their own weight. It’s identical in principle to tilt trains.

      So really, where are you getting the idea that tilting frames necessarily suck while this design here is seven kinds of awesome?

      • Leaning systems are great where high g loads are experienced for long periods of time and or when the passengers are not in a stable position (IE standing up). They are also needed if the vehicle has a narrow track. In general they are of little use for passenger auto’s where side to side “G” loads are way under 1 (more likely .1 to .3) and only for a few seconds. A bicycle or motorcycle is the definition of narrow track, its zero after all so must lean at even low speeds.

        I want you to all take your favorite marker, can of paint or blow torch and put this on the wall… Keep It Simple Stupid..

        • Luke says:

          Point duly noted, Zippy. The more complicated you make a system, the more points of failure exist, and their individual chances of failure compound when their individual failure means the failure of the system as a whole. KISS goes without saying.

          However, the sole point of my post there was to question Kyran’s statement that tilting would compromise saftey while implying that this design would pose no problems.

      • Kyran Cinflaria says:

        Tilting suspensions decreasing safety is much similar to a standing man leaning sideways. While most people can keep their balance standing sideways, it takes much less force to push them over. Also, from experiece, when using a tilt suspension the axles have a nasty habit of cracking if you are anywhere that needs any kind of clearance. Though, I grant the comfort thing was a misstatement on my part. I apologize for that.

        • Luke says:

          Pardon my ignorance here, but if a person is leaning against your push, wouldn’t it take more force to push him over? Likewise, if he’s being pushed from different directions at different times, would he not be more stable if he could dynamically shift his weight against whatever force acts on him?

          A tilting frame probably wouldn’t do much in the event that lateral static friction gives way to kinetic friction, but that would only result in a skid-out.

          Tilting the frame against centrifugal force, however, would necessarily decrease the likelihood of a rollover. As a rollover is instigated, the outermost wheels would bear more and more weight and lateral force, with the innermost wheels bearing less and less, until the moment that the innermost wheels no longer has any grip and the vehicle is free to just flip over, like a snapping rubber band. Tilting the vehicle such that the center of gravity shifts more towards the inner wheels should compensate for that effect, no?

          • Kyran Cinflaria says:

            That would be a good point except that cars tilt into the turn, so they are leaning away from the force,

          • Luke says:

            Really, automobiles tilt into the curves they steer around? By what mechanism?

    • Keith says:

      “The weight would be nearly the same as we have VERY light metals, and people buy electroniccaly fuel injected engines, so why not spend a little more on turn-easy cars.”

      This quote in itself shows how little you know about practicle design. Saying that they could just use very light metals takes nothing into account. Maybe they use pure aluminum rather than alloy, oh wait, that would bend as soon as you hit a pothole at 5mph. Maybe they use titanium, who cares the expense, I mean if they buy cars with fuel injection, they would surely buy an all-titanium wheel with all of its bearing surfaces coated in teflon.

      The weight would be nearly the same as what? How about carbon fiber wheels. You are not coming off domineering, you are coming off as just ignorant. Please don’t post any more.

      • Keith says:

        Yes, I realize I spelled practical wrong.

      • Kyran Cinflaria says:

        “Maybe they use titanium, who cares the expense, I mean if they buy cars with fuel injection, they would surely buy an all-titanium wheel with all of its bearing surfaces coated in teflon.”

        Your sarcasm proves my point. If you are going to buy a $200,000 car, why not spend the extra couple thousand if for nothing else then prop value.

        • Eric says:

          Why can’t Ferrari’s park themselves like Lexus’s can? Because those kinds of “props” don’t sell to a person who wants a $200,000 car for the V12/V18 engine with speed. This wont work on a car that goes that fast, period. Therefore the entire point of it is ridiculous because a Lexus buyer who spends up to $80,000 even, wont want to push it over $100,000 just “because it has cool wheels.” It’s pointless in every scenario, therefore needs to go away.

        • Keith says:

          the $16,000 cars have fuel injection now. So assuming that fuel injection=$200,000 car proves how little you know.

  • Eric says:

    This is simply the wrong part to re-engineer to get this effect. The suspension should be redesigned to allow for the wheel to actually lean. (As noted by others.) It’s way to complicated to do it this way. Now that’s not saying humans can’t figure it out, it’s that it would be a waste of our time if it could be done cheaper, faster, and more efficiently by just tilting the wheel. Hell a better idea that I would have been interested in (even though it’s not possible either) would be to have this same effect on a wheel, but made out of/designed to reshape itself into a lean, while keeping “flat footed” on the ground on all fours.

  • mfe says:

    i dont think all is lost on those wheels designs, actually i think is a starting point to something greater,, so those who were a bit hursh anf naughty remarks..hmmm those wheels might one day come back to haunt you..hehehe i am the founder of my own small private group called: mfe_ science in which MFE stand for magnetic force engineering, AND THOSE WHEELS WHEN I SAW THEM, MY FIRST THOUGHT WAS: mmmmm interesting, interesting for the designs, could very well be used for something else better in which i happen to have in mind…

    • Jon Peterson says:

      You founded an engineering group, yet you type like that? I smell skullduggery!

      I also venture a guess that your age is between thirteen and seventeen, and that “mfe_science” is the invention of three minutes imagination aimed at creating an institution on which to base your claims.

      I also venture a guess that you don’t have a clue what that means.

    • Keith says:

      This design certainly won’t work for what it was originally intended. Doesn’t mean the underlying mechanism won’t work for something else. It only shows that the designer didn’t do his background research or properly test his design.

      • Jon Peterson says:

        This seems to be the case with the vast majority of designs featured on this site, sadly.

    • Keith says:

      I guess I should have done my research on you first. You are a troll. Nice myspace page, mister magnetic force engineering. Are you gonna tell us that you can turn this into a device that creates more energy than it consumes? And was this private group originally called Steorn?

      • Jon Peterson says:

        Interestingly enough, I had typed something very similar to this. The site seems to have a built-in flood control, although it does not notify the user (commenter?) when it takes action.

        I assume it kicks in when a user makes more than one comment in a timeframe where no other users have made comments, sitewide.

        Mildly frustrating, in my opinion, as I had just finished detailing how depressingly broken the “Twin Parabolic Ski” design is, only to have the comment remain unposted.

      • mfe says:

        thank you keith…sorry if i seem to sound like a scientist, but the trueth is i been studying for over ten years, and just formed a little group of four, on anything to do with magnetic structure along with gravity,and any other forces found within science, physics and quatom theories, i such admire the designer for coming up with something original where the wheel was of concern, at least he did not try to take the wheels off the car, and went into complications of physics…hehehe what are you into? how about your spare time?

      • mfe says:

        by the way the wheels can still be used for what it was intended for, just i think it needs to be re-design, re-invented, back to the drawing board if you will,i don’t have enough of the design or the animation, to help out as i would like, although i would be happy to, as long as i got a little credit for helping out, and being able to implement the idea on something else i have in mind..if that is agreable..it will be a great challenge for me and my team…

        carlos portela

  • Jon Peterson says:

    Way to take the mechanics of the wheel (load dispersion, anyone?) and totally rip them to shreds.

    I wonder what happens during each eighth of a revolution, as one segment of this wheel is on the ground independent of other segments… and shifts slightly out and back in (look at the mechanics of the device before stating that this is an invalid concern).

    That horizontal wobble, combined with the circumstances under which this wheel is supposed to begin acting extraordinarily, is a recipe for disaster.

    Way to go!

    • mfe says:

      i woulden’t quite say is a recipe for disaster, have you seen a program call ice trucking..where 50/60 tons lorries travel across a lake that is frozen in winter, yet the truck how ever many tons it may weight, they do over 100 miles on ice no thicker than two inches and they don’t sick, you know why? cuz as long as they are moving at a certain speed, the two inches of ice that the lorries travels on with all that tons of weight becomes weightless,..interesting don’t you think??

      • Facts matter chum, the ice is a minimum of 8″ but its preferd to be over 18″ to safely carry a fully loaded semi truck. Hey facts should not get in the way of a good snow job ;)after all some people just love to lap up stories of pixie dust, anti gravity, unobtainum and perpetual motion systems.

        • mfe says:

          hmm i guess now we know why we are 1,000 years behind, where technology is of concern,he who dares my friend, he who dares leads the way, geting it right the first time is not important, doing something from an idea and work on the problems that comes along,is moving fowards, don,t you think…and anti gravity, and perpetual motion, is not impossible either..specialy when an engine working on magnetic force alone has already been made..possible.. anyway i was just trying to make a point and give the designer credit in which i belive he diserves, for coming up with the idea and trying it out..which is a lot more than i can say for a lot of people..no heart feeling…thanks..

          • Luke says:

            No, mfe, we’d be 1000 years behind if people like you had more say than scientists.

        • Jon Peterson says:

          When you come across trolls like this MFE character, it’s usually best to ignore them. As you can see from his responses, they’re usually delusional and unrelated to the original comment.

          Take for example this one. I point out the slight horizontal wobble that — due to the inertia of the car involved — would likely cause a LOSS of traction (rather than the increase the system is supposed to create), and this poor deluded fellow responds by making up statistics concerning the amount of ice needed to support fully-loaded big-rigs without shattering.

          Let him be. You don’t have to “win” an argument against such a person. He’s doing a great job of losing them on his own.

  • mfe says:

    ofcourse with the wheels design the opposite is needed, since the road the car is travelling on is well thick,( by way on first message where i tipe: lorries traveling over 100 miles on two inches of ice and they don’t sick..hmmm was suppose to be sink..as in sinking..going under..hmmm thanks..

  • Victor Assis says:

    Hoo boy, are we REALLY talking about perpetual motion? I feel like I just entered a SciFi dimension. Antigravity, maybe, UFOs, probably, but perpetual motion… Come on, you’re kidding right? You don’t really take it seriosly do you?

    • I am afraid he is not, oh well lets hope he don’t bilk some poor people out of their life savings.

      • Victor Assis says:

        A guy who takes perpetual motion seriously is not to be taken seriosly. But still, ignorance knows no limits, such as greed. There will always be people willing to pay for a miraculous way to earn money.

        • Keith says:

          I guess my quip about Steorn was lost on everyone else. And by what mister mfe mentioned, i think he was specifically refering to Steorn when he mentioned perpetual motion with magnets.

  • mfe says:

    HI Everyone…Mr. Mfe here.. thank you for all the good and bad comments, along with insults..hmmm no worry though no heart feelings on my part including the one saying i can not spell,,bad habbit i learned in england..hehehe.but hey is human nature, to have all sorts, i do not get involve in perpetual motions, although saying that it does not mean i have not study about it and its possabilities within, which could be useful else where more mechanical,an engineer with a very complicated task, studies a lot about a lot of things and not just one tipe of thing alone, that wont get you ahead of the game, thank you also for the steorn website, interesting, also i am not trying to rip anyone off with money, for money i have plenty, what i don´t have is people who are not afraid to venture out towards the unknown with an open mind, and i do not claim anything, we live in a world that nothing is impossible in which past scientist and inventors, have shown the way of what was once impossible, that is why we have the technology that we have now, tesla and heims are a perfect exsample, my work is based on all workable forces according to physics laws and other forces not workable but has certain potentials, well my fans..i whait in eagerness, on what else you have to say.or ask. Mr. Mfe

    • Eric says:

      Tesla got his wireless electricity waves into your head and said perpetual motion research is leading somewhere didn’t he? Mechanics are amazing, but don’t need to be overcomplicated to accomplish simple things (within the physical law of reality.) As for changing center of gravity in a car, wheel augmentation during rotation might be the worst start with our physical abilities. It’s simply easier to redesign the suspension (which mind you is still quite a huge undertaking) and keep our wheels round. I can tell you every industry that would be involved in this wheel manufacture would never start research for production, it’s lunacy!

      • Luke says:

        Don’t feed the troll. You’ll only empower him. Mind you, he really is a troll. Note the last line, how he refers to the people poking fun at him as his “fans.”

        Just a fidgety wannabe’s two cents, for what it’s worth.

        • Eric says:

          Lol, true.
          Ironically enough my Einstein quote of the day widget that I just read happens to be: “Innovation is not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a logical structure.”

        • mfe says:

          well, well, well aint SOME OF YOU a nasty piece of work,,who the f. are you to call me names,,..you people are not profesionals. I came here to leave a message for the designer of those wheels, and not for the likes of you, I am glad you don´t work for me, I would not be happy if I found out any of them behaved in a disrespectful way in a business site, for this aint any chat room, where you are bored and start to insult people to entertain yourself, shame on you,..I HOPE YOU ARE WORKING FOR YOURSELF, FOR I WONDER WHAT YOUR BOSS WOULD SAY, knowing how unprofesional you are conducting yourselves on a site that is about business, although saying that I don´t think your clients would like it either for that matter..I got better things to do than wasting my time with the likes of you people.,,

  • ngp says:

    it’s pretty retarded

    it won’t do anything except break

    go back to school and try to learn some physics the second time around

  • Jim says:

    Unfortunately, this completely overlooks the issue of camber change as the body rolls in the turn and as the suspension moves through its range of motion.

    This also overlooks the amount of work that pneumatic tires do in absorbing loads before they get to the rim. To use solid tires as he has here, the rim elements would have to be so heavy it would be unusable.

    I expect that there would also be problems keeping the sliding elements working smoothly for very long in the dirty road envirnoment.

  • PeeJ says:

    No. That’s not how motorcycle tires/wheels work. And how motorcycles corner has almost nothing to do with the way cars corner. The phsyics are so wildly different it’s just inane to (try to) make an analogy.

    Also, on a bike, there’s a LARGER contact patch during cornering.

    I need to go carve some canyons now.

  • mfe says:

    well, well, well aint SOME OF YOU a nasty piece of work,,who the f. are you to call me names,,..you people are not profesionals. I came here to leave a message for the designer of those wheels, and not for the likes of you, I am glad you don´t work for me, I would not be happy if I found out any of them behaved in a disrespectful way in a business site, for this aint any chat room, where you are bored and start to insult people to entertain yourself, shame on you,..I HOPE YOU ARE WORKING FOR YOURSELF, FOR I WONDER WHAT YOUR BOSS WOULD SAY, knowing how unprofesional you are conducting yourselves on a site that is about business, although saying that I don´t think your clients would like it either for that matter..I got better things to do than wasting my time with the likes of you people.,,

  • Tako says:

    Cool! Such rates soon cars to fly will begin…)))

  • eakkar_84 says:

    very interesting.

  • Reggie says:

    Would this not be like constantly driving across the warning strips on the edge of the road? A constant droning caused by the perpendicular slices of the wheel may drive you bonkers.

  • This new design will give the car the glide since physically speaking, it can decrease the resistance of the wheel to the road because the wheel will adjust itself to be more flexible in turning. The problem is, i think this kind of wheel will just be appropriate for lightweight automobiles since it will be air-less, and also, with the wheel being split in eights, I think that decrease the support of the wheel for the car.

  • This new design will give the car the glide since physically speaking, it can decrease the resistance of the wheel to the road because the wheel will adjust itself to be more flexible in turning. The problem is, i think this kind of wheel will just be appropriate for lightweight automobiles since it will be air-less, and also, with the wheel being split in eights, I think that decrease the support of the wheel for the car.

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  • Roman says:

    And it does not fall apart during the second turnover?

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