An unmanned rover for Earth!


The Bend Unmanned Cross-country vehicle looks remarkable for quite a few reasons. Its tires, for starters, are made from scrap metal and are modeled in a manner that feels almost like a combination of Michelin’s 3D printed tires and NASA’s chainlink tires. The hollow metallic construction makes the wheel less susceptible to puncturing, while the organic design makes it look rather unique. Made from scrap metal, the wheels are easy to replace and repair.

What’s also interesting about the Bend (and also the reason behind its name) is its form. Looking broadly like a ball and socket joint, the Bend is pretty much exactly that. Designed as a massive magnetic ball-socket joint, the Bend can literally twist and contort itself to work around any sort of terrain (its hollowed-out tires would then come in use for gripping onto the ground, I suppose). Designed for applications in construction, research, and agriculture, the Bend works unmanned, and can be modified to suit its application. It runs on a battery that may need replacing from time to time. The designer proposes a drone-based battery replacement system, but I don’t see why we couldn’t use solar panels instead!

Designer: Maya Prokhorova