Gallery: The Wheel of the Future is Here and It’s Shaped Like a Cube

 

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.

+SharkWheel

Via The Atlantic

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18 Comments

  1. TheMan May 7, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    If you look at the wheel from the side, it\’s still circular. The curved pattern of the treads (yes, it\’s basically just treads on a skateboard wheel) give it the appearance of being a cube (You can fit a circle in the diameter of a cube as well). Nice try though, A for effort

  2. lothiankak March 1, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I am involved with roller derby.i would like to see how these would work on quad skates.If you make the right size/hardness wheels I would be happy to buy a set and try them.

  3. Arnold Rozeboom Pot February 27, 2014 at 9:28 am

    So this principle would be an energy saver on solar/electric vehicles as well !

  4. Ryan Privee July 30, 2013 at 7:05 am

    This might be ok for skateboarding but I can\\\’t see these being on vehicles, if anything because of the material and wear that would occur. I think this invention will lead a short life after people see it doesn\\\’t work well or last long…it\\\’ll be another Flobee or Shamwow…

  5. Karlos Coleman July 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    My only concern would be with Just for how long would these type of wheels last? Cause of their innovative tread pattern I feel that your skating experience may vary over time more drastically! We’ll just have to see if board riders prefer this to flat wheels over time and replacement cost.

  6. great white- shark July 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    WOW!! So much for all those science shows that show square tires cannot work and as well as standard wheels.

    It would crazy cool to see the first vehicles* with them, if The Sharkwheels are *. If The Sharkwheels are not, then I would rather see the standard wheels.

    *- Hopefully made in The USA, By USA employees, through recycled and biodegradable materials and thus parts and Solar Powered

  7. Wil Wheaton July 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    @simonp as a free floating wheel it would work better than than a normal wheel, basically because the center of balance would be shifting back and forth and not let it favor one side or the other like when you roll a quarter and ventually it will favor one side and fall. Once attatched to an axle though, that benefit is lost and it will perform as a normal wheel.

  8. english cheese man english cheese man July 10, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I thought the original wheel was selected because it didn’t cut into the ground and was easy to turn on.

  9. David Kay July 9, 2013 at 1:24 am

    It isn’t really a new wheel but a regular wheel with a tread pattern. He has really re-discovered that tread pattern is superior to smooth.

    A symmetric tread contacting the ground would probably have a bit less traction wobble, and as result might be faster.

    Likely also can be better tuned for air resistance, weight savings, etc.

  10. soullion9876 July 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I like what I see seat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. synergy3 June 20, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Dont just stop at a skate board go to cars trucks buses planes put them out to work on everything they look very cool to

  12. Jason McDaniel June 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I have been skating for over 30 years and I live in Eugene Oregon. I skate in all kinds of terrain including lots of rain and dirt. I would love to know how to get a hold of a pair to test out on the miles I put on my boards everyday, cause I don’t drive, I have always preferred to ride. I am 37 and look and feel like I am still 23 for just that reason.Let me know cause I need a pair my friend.

    Sincerely interested;
    Jason McDaniel LMT
    mcfreak.jm@gmail.com

  13. jelelf0770@gmail.com June 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Simon, I guess you also believe the world is flat! LOL!

  14. Maria Daskalova June 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

    you should totally do ones for rollers ^^ I’d gladly try them.

  15. simonp June 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Bogus. As an engineer, I am not buying into this. Show me some objective, quantitative data that says this new shape is better…not subjective, qualitative bullshit.

  16. greenkiran June 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Serendipity FTW!

  17. Marty Zonkoski June 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    3d printers….

  18. Sammy Branson June 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    The only question is if it slides well. If you try to do like a feeble of a krook will it catch?

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