DARPA’s wheels can change shape in a blink

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is revolutionising how military ground vehicles move across roads and rough terrains with its latest breakthrough. DARPA showed off some new Transformers-inspired defence vehicle tech that is not only futuristic but also incredibly practical for military ground vehicles.
The agency teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center to develop tires that have the ability to transform into triangular tracks within a matter of seconds and the vehicle doesn’t even need to be stationary.
While wheels are more suitable for driving on roads and hard surfaces, tracks are ideal for off-road terrains such as sand, mud, and snow.
The agency demonstrated the RWT in a video that shows a military Humvee seamlessly changing from wheels to tracks while in motion, allowing the vehicle to adapt as the terrain changes. The round wheel transforms into a pyramid-shaped track that increases surface contact with the terrain, lowers the vehicle’s ground pressure and improves traction.
The applications of this technology are endless. While it would be incredibly helpful for armoured military vehicles that need to cover a lot of ground within a short span of time, it can also be used for search and rescue operations, construction, or any other field where the terrain is a mix of flat roads and uneven surfaces.