It only took a few thousand years, but someone has finally reinvented the wheel—and it actually works better than the original. Skateboarder David Patrick’s crazy SharkWheel was discovered by chance while he was creating a cube out of six soft pieces of piping. Patrick dropped the cube by accident, and to his amazement, the piece started rolling and it didn’t stop.

You’d think that a cube-shaped wheel would be completely counterproductive, but Patrick’s angular SharkWheel has proved to be smoother and faster than a conventional skateboard wheel. The magic appears to be in the materials and the helix-shape which makes it possible for the wheel to take on virtually any terrain at speeds that would not be seen with a traditional wheel. Moreover, the sine-wave pattern of the wheel’s treads reduce the surface area that makes contact with the ground, in turn reducing friction and speeding up rotation.

Being an avid skateboarder, Patrick immediately applied the square wheels to his skateboards, creating a triple-layered prototype for skaters around Venice, California to try out. He has even launched a Kickstarter campaign for skaters to score their own SharkWheels (the campaign has already exceeded its target goal).

Though the super slick SharkWheels have only been applied to skateboards, if further developed, the design could be extended to enhance the efficiency of cars, Segways and robots.

Check out the video of it in action here.


Via The Atlantic