Cool new airless tires from Michelin!





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  1. #1
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    Cool new airless tires from Michelin!

    Michelin New Tire Design

    The one thing nagging me about these is I could swear I had a toy many, many (MANY) years ago that had tires that looked like this. Anyone else?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    The one thing nagging me about these is I could swear I had a toy many, many (MANY) years ago that had tires that looked like this. Anyone else?
    Lego technic maybe?

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    After my time, I'm afraid...though its possible I saw one in a shop window.
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    You know, they do look familiar. Just don't know what it was from. Might have been Technic, but I don't think so... Most of the tires I remember from that set looked like normal tires from outside.

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    So, that was 5 years ago. Did anything come of this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nerfherder View Post
    So, that was 5 years ago. Did anything come of this?
    They appear to be having a speed problem. As in, they don't work at high speeds. So they've been used so far in things like wheelchairs, construction vehicles, and some military vehicles. And apparently NASA has contracted them to make a rover version.

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    And the military version is strictly light weight from what I can find, they evidently have a load bearing problem as well.

    As for the toy wheel design, yeah I remember something similar, but I could have swore it was on an RC or other playable model car. I really don't remember well enough to say specifically, though.
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    Michelin's North American Headquarters are in my hometown. Actually, I don't really live in Greenville, SC, but out at the far ends of the county. My father used to do a lot of work for them under contract, being an expert tool-maker, I've done work for them, and being an inventor and having friends out there I keep up with their R&D and experimental programs.

    Personally I don't think, that given the materials available now, that these particular tires/wheels will amount to much.


    However Michelin does have an excellent R&D program and they are often on the cutting edge of research. With the new ICAR Center (got friends there too, and go out there about once a month or so) and GE, etc. they have some interesting projects underway. And with Greenville now such a high tech manufacturing center, and with it becoming more and more a finance center, there are interesting local projects to track.

    Two years ago (actually they were developing long before then, but he had a write up in the Greenville News on it Jan. 17th, 2010) Oliva, GVP for sustainable development let out about Michelin engines in wheels. It's called the Michelin Active Wheel (see link below) and is designed to replace the car engine and suspension and transmission.

    Don't know how far it will go, as far as practical applications, but it is a very interesting idea to me. And I think it's now on it's second or third generation of the tech.

    One of my uncles and I were discussing ideas for an inertia wheel, drive, and tire system years and years ago (my family tend to all be big car nuts). This project kinda reminded me of it in general design concept, of concentrating operational methods in the wheels rather than the drive train. So I like following stuff like this.

    I know it's not directly related, but I think it is an interesting project.


    Active Wheel System

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    That active wheel system looks interesting. Reminds me a little of the first Porsche design, at the end of the 19th century, with electric motors in the wheels (and an IC engine to recharge the batteries - they had hybrids even back then!).

    We're seeing more and more cars with active suspension, with the McLaren MP12-4C being particularly impressive. With the variability of road surface quality in the UK, it's a welcome development. I hope that the fashion of bigger and bigger rims dies out soon, too, as all it is doing is driving up the cost of tyres.

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