Square wheel locomotion for MEMS

1. Mar 26, 2006

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Invented and patented by a twelve year old boy.

http://www.memsnet.org/news/1132507379-0/ [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
2. Mar 27, 2006

Danger

Neat, Ivan! It would seem to be the ideal way to eliminate getting flats.

3. Mar 27, 2006

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Yeah, it comes with flats! :rofl:

Frankly, I don't see this as all that useful. :uhh:

4. Mar 27, 2006

FredGarvin

Good for him. It's nice to see a 12 year old boy talking about work. I'm with Astro though, what's the real point to it?

5. Mar 27, 2006

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Apparently this solves a huge problem for MEMS - the connection between the motor and the wheels, of which there is none on this device. It was a professor of engineering who first realized the potential. And once people started looking more closely it was realized that this might solve all sorts of problems; what specifically, I'm not sure.

Also, this was done for a class project. The student recieved a 76% score since the teacher assumed that he had bought it. That was before the patent was issued for it.

6. Mar 28, 2006

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
From the site to which Ivan linked.

For more information and a video demonstration on the square wheel car visit http://www.globalcomposites.net where

one will find a photo and description - http://www.globalcomposites.net/Reinventing the Wheel description DU 1.pdf

The inventor - http://www.globalcomposites.net/The Inventor.htm

For more information and a video demonstration on Distributed Robotics visit http://www.distributedrobotics.com

But the square wheels prevent it from rolling backwards?

And I wonder how practical this is at speed - e.g. 60 mph? How about vibration, and wear on the corners?

Anyway, there is a special shape of which I cannot remember the name, but it is basically a tringle with round (circular sides), such the any point on one of three sides is the same distance from the opposite vertex. It would seem to make a better 'wheel'.

The shape is something like the rotary part of the Mazda engine.

Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
7. Mar 28, 2006

Danger

I think that's a bit optimistic for a MEM. :tongue:

It would probably be fine in a planetary rover or something, up to maybe 15 kph. Much faster than that, and you'd probably need some good vibrational isolation for the payload.
It would be tempting to build an off-road vehicle based upon it just for fun. (Maybe convert the El Camino; it already has a flat tire that's going to cost $600 to replace, and I'd like to see how fast the 455 could get that counterweight whirling. ) 8. Mar 28, 2006 Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus 60 micrometers per hour? They - Discoveries This Week on TDC - showed a later evolution of the wheels, which was a shape that had two vertices separated by a postive curvature - like a double convex lens viewed on edge. 9. Mar 28, 2006 Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus I didn't realize that the impetus for this was to produce perpetual motion. Too funny!!! 10. Mar 29, 2006 sid_galt I dont get it. If the purpose is to remove the connection between the wheel and the motor in MEMS, just put a propeller on the thing. Even that would be better than such complications. 11. Mar 29, 2006 NateTG I haven't watched the video, but that really sounds a lot like one of these: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/explorestore/rattleback.html [Broken] With two of those on a rocker arm and a drag wheel (or, more likely a drag axle) you should get a simlar effect. Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017 12. Mar 29, 2006 Cyrus Eh? A propellor in MEMS? Is that even possible? 13. Mar 29, 2006 NateTG 14. Mar 29, 2006 Cyrus But does that fit under the classical definition of a propellor? Interesting. 15. Mar 29, 2006 sid_galt Well, that depends on the size of the MEMS and the capability of the industry to manufacture props of that size. Then the specific thrust has to be taken into account, etc. etc. But at any rate, there are a lot of other options. A car like this on square wheels, especially MEMS, well I doubt it will be able to manage even 10 miles an hour without breaking apart due to massive vibrations. At any rate, any electronic equipment inside is likely to get damaged. 16. Mar 30, 2006 Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus you all do realize the scale that we are talking about here, right? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/31/Nanogearandbug.jpg/250px-Nanogearandbug.jpg [Broken] Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017 17. Mar 30, 2006 sid_galt Allright, I never thought it was the scale of micrometers (thats micrometers, right?). But then, why can't they simply install an additional wheel run by a motor at the back of the MEMS to push it forward with the other wheels of the MEMS for support and steering? 18. Mar 30, 2006 Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus The bug is a dust mite. Yep, micrometers. 19. Mar 30, 2006 Cyrus That why I said eh when I heard propellor. 20. Mar 30, 2006 pallidin You know, I saw the video in the links, played them back several times, and was STILL left with the thought "WHY???" Since the square wheels(also elliptical wheels were used) rotate from this effect, what's the point? Is it the relief of not having a dedicated drive axle for the wheels? If that's the case, SO WHAT? There is STILL a drive axle for the rotating mass. Not only that, the system is horribly inefficient, IMHO. In order to move forward, the entire mass of the vehicle must move up and down(as opposed to pistons in a conventional engine) Again, and perhaps I'm just brain-dead, I do not readily see any benefit from this effect. Indeed, the design seems to offer more potential problems than it solves. 21. Mar 30, 2006 turbo Man!$600 for a tire? You must live in a high-rent district. Most El Caminos in my neck of the woods are either running on \$10 second-hand tires or "not" actually running but sitting on blocks with the engine in the kitchen of the house trailer.

22. Mar 30, 2006

pallidin

And for that matter, now that I am thinking about it, I recall someone posting earlier on this thread with regards to the locomotive effect being a result of "not tending to go backwards"(my words)

So, this contraption seems like a modified "friction-walking" apparatus.

"Modified" because the device does not rely on friction per-se, rather that the design requires MORE energy to go backwards than forwards(the square wheel off-set design), thus netting a forward result from the mounted rotating mass.
Well, again, a horrible waste of energy, as energy is wasted keeping the vehicle from going backwards.

23. Mar 30, 2006

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
The MEMS folks are looking into variations on this idea that are more practical. For example, they are considering using electrostatic force to rock the "vehicle" in place of a rotating mass.

24. Mar 31, 2006

Danger

They're 33" Trailblazers. This thing is full-time 4x4, with a locking transfer case and a 455 Olds motor.