# Can spheres replace wheels in vehicles

## Why can't the spherical wheels be used in automobiles?

Question asked by Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran in #Mechanical on Oct 15, 2013

Spherical wheels have much lesser traction than the cylindrical counterparts
This is the greatest challenge it faces as we know

Next grip in those tyres is no match as that compared to cylindrical tyres

One more thing I find is maintaining the spherical tyre is costlier and having a different shape will make other existing tech obsolete

The question arises on how do we give the rotating power to the tyres?

Currently its shaft driven, so its easy to rotate the existing tyres.

If the tyres are made spherical, then the way to give power is to have a rotating small wheel on above the bigger wheel which gives the power to the wheel.

IMHO the direction cannot be controlled well in this case.

In a circular wheel, the wheel is attached with its axle that is given the power to rotate the whole wheel at once. But in a sphere, the problem is that how the power can be given to that tyre and how it will be attached with the vehicle ?
the vehicle with spherical tyre can run only in the case when the tyres are left free under the vehicle without any attachment. The tyres can't be attached to the car. So, that the main point to consider while thinking about this topic.

The agree with the points mentioned by Saandeep & Vikaskumar11233.
in continuation with it i think ,we can't always maintain the spherical shape of the tyres as there will be frequent wear & tear in the tyres.
Thirdly the small wheels have single attached point which may be troublesome .

I had an idea long ago for this.....
problem 1 fitting..
solution...use wheels made superconducting surfaces, use electromagnetic coils in 3 perpendicular planes in the socket, when current passes and the field is stable..the wheel wont move no matter what.
problem 2 movement...
solution... when the current in coil changes, it causes a rotation in magnetic field...this rotation will be transferred to the wheel due to quantum trapping space locking effect.
the rotating wheel will push the front of socket, hence the whole car.
problem 3 friction...
solution...coating of hydrophobic nano-tubes. these coatings drastically increases static friction of a surface even on smooth places. it repels water and dirt, giving good dry and wet grip to the wheel. a very much better alternative to traditional rubber.
. It will be fully electrical (can be made solar powered). hence highly eco-friendly.
. Better control of vehicles even in pothole-filled Indian roads.
. If proximity sensors(or motion sensors) are installed on all sides, a proper algorithm can alert the driver from possible accidents, reducing road accidents.
. Emergency vehicles can use this tech to effectively evade traffic safely

Even though the above Idea is Ideal for spherical wheeled automobiles...
Its main drawback is our current level of technology is backward in terms of feasibly implementing it. and for others its either too complicated or immposible

Power transmission to spherical wheels would be difficult.
The vehicle dynamics would change when compared to a normal wheel design.

please also give an explanation of how it works

Why don't they use magnetism to the vehicles advantage giving a pull push motion with a very strong magnetic force not allowing the wheel to roll away in case of an accident where the vehicle flips.
Another idea a sphere is a sphere it can rotate turn at any point the issue would be keeping the wheel on the car. Program the wheel to accelerate at high speeds according to the pressure on the gas pedal using maybe some sort of bluetooth. But anyways to keep the wheel in the car install a bowl like shape to match the ball but to fit around the tire and leave an appropriate amount of exposure to the floor so then the spherical tire can touch the floor but still be encased in the car not allowing it to flip everywhere and in case of an accident it still remains in the car. Say someone were on the freeway and they were driving, the road was slippery and they ran off the road and flipped due to loss of control then they're upside down off the road. The tow truck comes lifts the car, rotate the car hood facing up the wheels would pop back in black of that opening allowing the tow truck to set it down without scraping the bottom of the car. For brakes while losing control their should be a new type of emergency break where inside the casing is three brake pads like a bike that at a touch of a button would slowly apply force on three side of the rotating car allowing the wheel to completely stop moving at a reasonable speed.
Im 17 by the way and I came up with this idea a long time ago and unfortunately didn't do some sort of patten but if you need more ideas i have all the answers because I thought all of this through. It may seem to advanced but I don't know, think the world is ready for it.

i hadnt expect so much of great replies. Looking for more discussions on this topic.

Why can’t the shape of the car tyres be revamped or changed to a spherical one?

This question araised in me after I stumbled upon the car concept from Audi named RSQ which was the same car which was showcased in the I-ROBOT film in the year 2004.So now we can discuss the possibilities of using a spherical car tyre instead of an traditional cylindrical one. If they can be used in daily products like TV stand, chairs, for easy movement of it why can’t it help in the motion of a car efficiently? How it can be propelled as it will not be convenient as cylindrical wheels?Can we use same rubber material for a spherical wheel to get friction to propel the vehicle? How can we transmit the power?How to steer?
Let your imagination flood in and it may look silly but it can be the future CEans. Posted in: #Mechanical

Saandeep Sreerambatla

The question arises on how do we give the rotating power to the tyres?

Currently its shaft driven, so its easy to rotate the existing tyres.

If the tyres are made spherical, then the way to give power is to have a rotating small wheel on above the bigger wheel which gives the power to the wheel.

IMHO the direction cannot be controlled well in this case.
I don't think control of the car with a spherical type wheel Will be difficult.watch the posted pic to get know the steering mechanism.

In a circular wheel, the wheel is attached with its axle that is given the power to rotate the whole wheel at once. But in a sphere, the problem is that how the power can be given to that tyre and how it will be attached with the vehicle ?
the vehicle with spherical tyre can run only in the case when the tyres are left free under the vehicle without any attachment. The tyres can't be attached to the car. So, that the main point to consider while thinking about this topic.
fitting or connecting a spherical wheel won't be a tiresome job.It can be explained if you understand the one spherical wheels used in tv stands .

msuresh444

Power transmission to spherical wheels would be difficult.
The vehicle dynamics would change when compared to a normal wheel design.
that problem is solved above through quantum trapping

sriram srinivasan

please also give an explanation of how it works
Hey Sir read the comment below your comment theres i a pretty awesome innovative idea you could use.

SarathKumar Chandrasekaran

Why can’t the shape of the car tyres be revamped or changed to a spherical one?

This question araised in me after I stumbled upon the car concept from Audi named RSQ which was the same car which was showcased in the I-ROBOT film in the year 2004.So now we can discuss the possibilities of using a spherical car tyre instead of an traditional cylindrical one. If they can be used in daily products like TV stand, chairs, for easy movement of it why can’t it help in the motion of a car efficiently? How it can be propelled as it will not be convenient as cylindrical wheels?Can we use same rubber material for a spherical wheel to get friction to propel the vehicle? How can we transmit the power?How to steer?
Let your imagination flood in and it may look silly but it can be the future CEans.

Greetings SarathKumar, read Carlos Gomez's comment its about 2 paragraphs long, I believe it may give you an idea!

Carlos Gomez

Greetings SarathKumar, read Carlos Gomez's comment its about 2 paragraphs long, I believe it may give you an idea!
How about you put the drive for the vehicle in the actual tire sphere using technology like sphero 2.0 and then hover the ball using a fan to gently lift the craft, the tires could be charged using induction charging and the craft would still float on air. A complex electromagnet array would not have to be built. Think of the old ping pong ball and a hair dryer science trick the vector around the ball keeps it in place . Then synchronize the tires to move in the same direction on a craft with at least three wheels hovering. When one tire goes bad you pull into a shop and say I need a spheel change. (Spherical wheels will be called SPHEELS pronounced (ssfeels) and I want credit for coining the term)
I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the practicality of a magnet lift suspension vs a fan driven hover suspension over self driving (sphero 2.0) type spherical wheels (so please forgive me for going mad scientist on this.) The power required to drive a vehicle with a mag lev suspension would be considerably more and you would somehow have to power the tire to repel the vehicle, with a self driving unit contained in the wheel that the vehicle would hover over using either one fan and thrust vectoring or three smaller fans floating over the balls to give the craft a air suspension system (for incredibly smooth ride).
I did a small test using a hair dryer pointed downward at a ping pong ball in a tube, and the ball centered itself in the tube as the air pushed down on it, so my thinking is that in theory the self driving ball will stay centered on a hovering craft while it is in motion, for this I think a three sphere tire minimum to displace weight evenly. The combined weight of the craft on top of the weight of the Spheel would add to the total traction of the tire making it able to go up slopes well and better braking than mag lev would offer. Covers on the tires could be interchangeable for different driving situations like existing covers just bigger.
Since the ball could drive themselves alone using GPS, if a Spheel broke down while driving a new spheel could roll to your location eliminating the need for tow trucks and triple A, and a new Spheel Subscription Service could be added requiring people to pay monthly for spheel access in our Interstate rest areas. Step 3...... Step 4. Profit
Another thing that came to mind is the aerodynamics of a conventional car would need to change in an omnidirectional car to give the vehicle 360 degrees of movement while maintaining stability so to do this I drew inspiration from a craft that existed somewhere in our universe, The Flying Saucer.
The circular shape of the vehicle would be superior in crash protection as well. (After I develop Time Portal Technology I promise to crash one of my cars in Roswell, NM 1947, (Why? Just to mess with people))
So at the end of my pile of ideas I have a parts list for a prototype.

Spheel Hover Car
3- Sphero 2.0 App Enabled Ball
3- Hexnub Covers
1- Ducted fan (Or 3-Ducted fans to make air suspension)
1- 6 Axis Gyro (to stabilize suspension throttle of fan up + down)
1- Raspberry Pi (to main car computer to talk to the spheels and suspension)
1- Bluetooth USB Drive (to make Pi computer talk to tires.)
1- TX/RX (wired to Pi to provide controls for vehicle)
1- Battery to power all
1- Pile of foam-board for construction of lightweight frame
1- Top notch programmer to write code

And why a sphere at all? why not a shapeshifting structure?

something like this but in three dimensions.

https://youtu.be/0RiD7U1Jw6s

If the whole car is a single sphere driven from inside, it may work.

@ramani

that would be one wheel, not the vehicle.

those kind of objects - tensegrity structures - change their shape in response of  a force applied on them.

to mimic a sphere it would take a much more complex structure.

this one shows another level of complexity.

@Zark  - How do we attach these wheels to the car?