Carnegie Mellon reinvents the wheel with shape-shifting tech

Impressive new technology has emerged that can transform a wheel into an all-terrain track in just two seconds.

The invention is being developed for the U.S. military, to make it easier for their vehicles to tackle different driving surfaces.

(DARPA)

Created by the Carnegie Mellon University National Robotics Engineering Center, the device would mean vehicles can transfer from hard to soft ground instantly without even having to slow down.

Called the "Reconfigurable Wheel Track" (RWT), it starts off round and uses a thin rubber cover over a robotic wheel.

(DARPA)

The driver is able to convert the spinning wheels into a triangular shape, creating tracks where the center remains still and the rubber moves over the outside.

Being able to quickly change the type of wheels a vehicle uses could prove vitally important for military vehicles needing a quick getaway.

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And if the technology ever makes it into regular car production, it could entirely transform off-road motoring.

Drivers of 4x4 vehicles could take their adventures to new heights and tackle all-new terrains without the need to manually change over to tracks.

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