Replacing tires with rubber balls

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Goodyear is planning to replace its passenger vehicle’s tire with the manufacturer’s Eagle-360 tire. But, the future tire would have the different size and shape.
    Designed for use on future autonomous vehicles, the Eagle-360 is a spherical tire that would be suspended from a car by magnetic fields. The closest analogy to this is the way maglev trains levitate through the use of magnetic poles. Goodyear claims that passenger comfort would be dramatically changed for the better while road noise would be diminished.

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/geneva-motor-show/goodyear-spherical-eagle-360-tires/
     
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  3. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Parallel parking seems the sole genuine benefit - but interestingly implies lack of a steering wheel! If so, occupant(s) would be at sole mercy of 'driverless' AI. Claims of better ride make little sense as whether conventional or spherical, it all gets down to available 'free play' between road surface and chassis, and there's sfa one can practically do about that via balls vs traditional donuts. No magic here.
    2nd last para that article is *the* one to take special note of. And understates it since a large array of powerful and presumably expensive magnets would need to be integral within each ball structure. Overall, doubtful, but a nicely thought out strategy for 'driving' profits on a 'global' scale.
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    How is the torque from the motor transmitted to the tyre, though? Or does this presuppose a linear motor operating on a rail in the road, or something?
     
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  7. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Source mentioned magnetic fields, but without giving much details. So, I'm not sure about it.
     
  8. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Without specifics to go by (as Plasma mentioned), a logical supposition is that a phased array of solenoids within wheel well area will act as a partial counterpart to conventional poly-phase induction-motor stator.
    Whereas coupling from balls to a passive say ferromagnetic underlaid road surface would imply either lossy eddy-current interactions (uniform surface), or submerged segmented ferromagnetic lumps at close spaced intervals. Either way, drive-via-road-surface seems prohibitively expensive and/or self-defeating efficiency-wise.
    My guess is 'tyre of the future' will be non-pneumatic but will retain the traditional doughnut profile. Moon rovers gave a glimpse. More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airless_tire

    [Just occurred to me - at high driving speed balls would necessarily become oblate. This in turn implies a rather loose coupling between stator drive and embedded ball magnets - in order to accommodate range of ball shapes. Which further implies limited drive efficiency. My advice - don't rush to invest!]
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. I am struck by how powerful both the fields maintaining the balls in place, and those transmitting torque, would need to be. I've no doubt this can work in theory, but can't quite resist the cartoon imagery of an electrical failure, resulting in the balls all rolling off on their own, while the body of the car clunks to the ground and scrapes ignominiously to a halt, in a cloud of dust and sparks, in the style of Wile E Coyote..............beep beep!

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  10. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    That or more likely grinding into the wheel well area until total ball failure leads to a spectacular flip-n-roll made-for-the-movies disaster. I can see a secret lobby group of lawyers pushing this as 'the way of (the litigation) future'!

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  11. zgmc Registered Senior Member

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    I don't see this being a practical idea in the least. It did get us talking about Goodyear though.
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    And it did bring into existence the colourful phrase "total ball failure".

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  13. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Best current hopeful alternative to standard pneumatic doughnut seems to be:
    http://energyreturnwheel.com/

    Even so, pricey (so far hand-made), and despite designs catering to the full spectrum of applications, evidently confined mostly to well-heeled cyclists.
    A glance to the right column shows there are quite a few rivals at it. Who knows. Not one there looks like a ball though.
    Hmm.... maybe Goodyear should look at targeting motor-cyclists with balls on balls! Just leave the brains out of it.

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016

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