Why turn a wheel?

Nature Gadgets Umair Zia Nature-Gadgets-Umair-Zia NatureGadgets UmairZia

:::: One-line Brief//
A motorbike has no handlebar, clutch, or accelerator.

:::: Inspiration from Nature//
Water flea (Daphnia Magna) uses its appendages for multiple purposes including food-absorption and locomotion.

:::: Problem Statement//
Whoever thought of the wheel for the first time was a wise person but today we say that there is no need to reinvent a wheel. Someone who craves synergy in design might say that if the wheel is not fully invented yet because its function remains to be limited. In a motorbike, for instance, there is a handlebar, accelerator, brakes, gears, and all kinds of navigational tools- to support a wheel. Let’s dwell on this point for a moment.
A cruise-bike gives its rider a sense of freedom which is somewhat analogous to riding a stallion. Difference; one has to make a full rotation of the arms to turn a bike. A stallion- pure muscle force which senses the rider’s heartbeat- needs only a wrist movement. Riding a stallion is far more immersive than riding a mechanical cruise bike. And the key component which can bridge this gap is the wheel. A wheel should be able to balance, accelerate, decelerate, and turn with the command of a human mind. The design process of a (synergistic) wheel needs to be completed.

:::: Nature Review//
An organism was sought which used its locomotive parts for multiple purposes. The most suitable function was found in a common water flea called Daphnia. Appendages of Daphnia have little protrusions on them which allow them to navigate around while paddling. These tiny hairy protrusions also absorb edible particles in water. The strategy is the key to re-invent our wheel, one which does not need a mechanical handlebar or staring for navigation.

:::: Technology Review//
A number of wheels have been designed for various purposes. The latest invention by NASA is a chain wheel made up of nickel-titanium memory alloy wires. This technology is a huge milestone in the production of a self-navigating, self-accelerating wheel. Similarly, Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle and Micheline’s 3d printed tires are useful case studies in the design of a given wheel.

Nature Gadgets by Nature Tutor Umair Zia

:::: Nature Gadget//
A motorbike tire is designed with a pattern of extendable memory bristles (1, 4, 8) on its surface. Bristles control and distribute surface tension of the wheel (22, 23) causing it to accelerate or decelerate. The turns are made possible through elongation and hardening along either edge of the wheel. Each one of these bristles can store a considerable amount of embedded tension (13, 14, 15). Every time it touches the ground it releases the tension backward (or forward for braking) so that the tire may accelerate or decelerate itself by a combined action of these bristles. There is no handlebar, only a fixed lead to control the bike.

:::: Citation Montage//

The following technologies helped in designing the systems for this nature gadget.

Row1Column1: A Closeup of Daphnia
Row1Column2: Anatomy of Daphnia
Row1Column3: Function of Motorcycle Bar
Row1Column4: Motorbike Steering Mechanism
Row2Column1: Motorbike Leaning Principle
Row2Column2: How to Ride a Bike With No Hands
Row2Column3: Two-wheeler Dynamics
Row2Column4: 4 Ways of Counter-steering
Row3Column1: Off-road Vehicle Types
Row3Column2: Types of Handlebars
Row3Column3: Honda’s Self-balancing Motorcycle
Row3Column4: Motorcycle Tyres
Row4Column1: An Concept Tyre
Row4Column2: An Example of Smart Tyre
Row4Column3: An Concept Tyre
Row4Column4: Michelin’s 3D Printed (biodegradable) Tyre

Created by Umair Zia