DARPA’s new round wheel instantly transforms into triangular tank tracks while vehicle is in motion
Even though it looks super cool when a Humvee goes off-track, in and out of mud-filled ditches and over monstrous obstacles, the ‘coolness’ is pretty much confined to movies as all those who own a Humvee in real life know exactly how torturous it is to get their vehicle out of a ditch.
Keeping this in mind, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DAPRA) has come up with a new wheel design that promises to make the experience less painful. Researchers at DAPRA, as part of the Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program which aims to enhance the mobility and survivability of army combat vehicles, created a high-tech Reconfigurable Wheel-Track (RWT) to enable the “transition from a round wheel to a triangular tank track and back again while the vehicle is on the move”. This allows the vehicle to basically convert into a tracked vehicle in the air.
GXV-T head, Maj. Amber Walker said in a press release on June 22 regrading the program’s most recent demonstrations, “For mobility, we’ve taken a radically different approach by avoiding armor and developing options to move quickly and be agile over all terrain.” While Amber Walker, after seeing a test run, said, “We look forward to working with the services to transition these technologies into ground vehicle technologies of the future.” Even though modifications are being made to make Humvee more practical, DAPRA is still searching for alternatives such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).
According to DAPRA, the use of RWT certainly enhances the vehicle’s manoeuvrability over 95% of off-road terrain, however if the Humvee breaks down, there’s not much one can do. All in all, the vehicle is bound to get better with these new wheels!
h/t: Design Boom