Transformers: Wheels in disguise

As part of its Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program, DARPA is showcasing some new defence vehicle tech that’s as forward-thinking as it is real-world.

One of the innovations, a transforming wheel-track, comes out of Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Centre’s partnership with DARPA. The wheel-track is just one of many designs meant to improve the usability of combat vehicles beyond the traditional upgrading of armour.

The reconfigurable wheel-track exhibits a fluid transition between a round wheel shape and a triangular track in two seconds, and the transformation can be executed while the vehicle is in motion. Round wheels are optimal for hard terrain while track-style treads allow an armoured vehicle to move freely on softer ground. According to Ground X-Vehicle Program Manager Major Amber Walker, the tech offers “instant improvements to tactical mobility and maneuverability on diverse terrains.”

The program also revealed its range of new AIs for more effective drone driving as well as a new multi suspension vehicle. Watch the video for a more in-depth understanding.

Read More: TechCrunch / The Drive / Business Insider / YouTube

Image: YouTube – DARPA

This story is taken from the 29 June 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.