Transport, both on road and off road, involves traveling on a wide range of terrain types. Ackeem Ngwenya, a design engineer, has now devised a roadless wheel concept which proposes a tire which can adjust to all kinds of terrains.
The Roadless wheel concept is fairly brilliant and envisions such wheels which can be used on different terrains, adjusting their size, width and shape accordingly. To ensure such spontaneous shape-shifting, Ngwengya proposes that the wheel should comprise of a tread material wrapped around a pair of rod networks. The rod networks, in turn, are attached to the axle.
The rods and their position is critical to this concept. When the rods are further apart form each other, this decreases the diameter of the tire and makes it wide. Similarly, when the rods are moved closer to each other, it increases the diameter of the wheel and the tire becomes narrow yet large.
Both rods are interconnected and the material that goes on top of the wheel’s bare structure must be elastic enough to allow for such changes in size and shape.
The best thing about this wheel concept is that Ngwengya originally devised it for the people of rural Malawi, his native homeland. Although the idea is still a concept, it has already been picked up by tech publications and will probably find many more applications, apart from being a transportation solution for Malawi residents. The video posted below provides more details about the Roadless wheel concept and demonstrates how it functions.