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WATCH: US military develops wheels that change into tracks

/ 06:41 PM June 26, 2018

Image: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Researchers from the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have developed wheels that transform into tracks to better maneuver in changing terrain.

Dubbed the reconfigurable Wheel-Track (RWT) by a team from Carnegie Mellon University National Robotics Engineering Center, the wheel can be made to transform into a triangular track system to move better on soft surfaces like dirt. The standard wheel configuration is still preferred for solid surfaces like roads, according to a statement.

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These transforming wheels can change configuration while moving in just around two seconds.

The wheel is part of the Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program, which aims to improve effectiveness, maneuverability and mobility of combat vehicles.

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The demonstration also showed off the Multi-mode Extreme Travel Suspension and electric in-hub motor systems.

Other systems showcased for demonstration are augmented and virtual reality displays. The virtual displays allow drivers to drive a vehicle despite having no windows, relying instead on a collection of cameras to feed visual information on screens. The augmented system adds outlines to the terrain to help drivers better navigate the ground.  /ra

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TAGS: augmented reality, DARPA, US military, wheels
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