Origami Wheels: Transforming Robot Technology Revolutionizes Mobility

Engineers from South Korea and the United States have pioneered a groundbreaking invention: "Origami Wheels" capable of dynamically altering their shape while in motion. Successfully tested prototypes demonstrate the wheels' versatility, withstanding loads up to ten kilonewtons. During rigorous trials, vehicles equipped with these innovative wheels effortlessly transported passengers while seamlessly adapting their configuration.

Inspired by the art of origami, these revolutionary designs enable robots to fold and modify their structure during operation. Drawing upon the principles of the water bomb origami pattern, Origami Wheels ingeniously integrate perpendicular structures, enabling seamless transformations with minimal energy consumption.

The development process yielded four prototype wheels, each offering two configurations tailored for diverse terrains. Large, off-road variants boast an 80-centimeter diameter, 22-centimeter width, and grooved tread for enhanced traction. Meanwhile, smaller variants, designed for flat roads, feature a 46-centimeter diameter and 48-centimeter width.

Engineers meticulously optimized the wheel's structure, adjusting the arrangement of rigid fragments on the polymer substrate, substrate thickness, and distance between fragments. Addressing challenges such as selecting the optimal elastomer thickness and distance ratio, engineers leveraged Euler-Bernoulli beam theory for precise modeling.

Comprehensive tests affirm the wheels' durability, capable of withstanding loads up to 10 ± 2 kilonewtons, with transformations occurring within five seconds at a speed of one meter per second. Notably, these wheels boast a payload-to-mass ratio exceeding 50, promising enhanced efficiency and performance.

Despite these advancements, travel with Origami Wheels remains a somewhat unsettled experience compared to traditional tires. However, ongoing research and development endeavors aim to refine and enhance the user experience, ushering in a new era of transformative mobility technology.

Share with friends:

Write and read comments can only authorized users