“Ugh, this is just typical. You think you know the way the world works: wind blows, fire burns, wheels spin and – wait, what’s this thing doing?
What? You mean, it can actually move in any direction without so much as turning on an axis? That’s blowing my mind. I’m no gear head, but I’m sort of attached to having a steering wheel in my car, you know? Now you’re saying that self-driving cars will take those away, and now there won’t even be wheels to turn in the direction you want to go in?
As you can see, the lift these wheels are mounted to its moving quite slowly, so maybe they’re not exactly Nurembergring material. That’s alright. It’s probably for the best that these vehicles can’t move at highway speeds as it is, and the added manoeuvrability afforded by these Airtrax Cobra wheels should be a huge boon to construction workers.” said sciencedump.com
Speaking of cobras, that’s pretty apt name if you ask me. It sort of looks like this machine is sliding along on four bundles of coiled snakes. Or something like that.
No word yet on whether this new method of motion is more prone wear. It looks to me like the comparatively smaller surface areas in contact with the ground at any given time have to provide so much traction compared to traditional wheels that I can’t imagine these doing very well on highly abrasive or rugged surfaces.
I think either that, or the low speed might have contributed to the company ceasing production of their wonder machines. Still, they’re very cool to look at!