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Old August 7 2012, 03:39 AM   #840
Locutus of Bored
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Anyone see the "Mythbusters" episode recently where they tested the idea of "square wheels"? The idea being that at a certain speed square wheels will operate smoothly as the -somewhat- rounded corners end up being the only points of contact with the ground.

It didn't work out too well given that it provided a very, very, unstable ride even at higher speeds when presumably the effect would have taken place. While it produced a slightly smoother than expected ride it was still damn rough and bumpy.

I suspect this idea with the Batpod wheels would work out the same way. Rolling laterally -especially if its rolling on the gun turrets- would be a very rough ride. When I saw the scene in TDK I too wondered what was going on, seeing the same thing happen in TDKR made it more clear and it made even less sense when thought about.

It'd "work better" if the wheels where spherical or those crazy omnidirectional wheels on high-end forklifts.


These wheels give the vehicle the ability to basically move in any direction without trouble or needing to make a turn. It can forwards, backwards, sideways and literally "turn on a dime."

It it can do it without making the rider of vehicle feel like they're driving on a washboard road on four flat tires.
Yeah, but those omni-directional wheels are designed for maximum maneuverability and minimum turn radius, not for speed or road travel. Most of the time the Batpod's wheels have the wheel treads flat to the ground and facing forward for speed. The only time he uses the wheels to go sideways or rotate is when he's slowing down/stopping or turning in place (unlike the Mythbusters ep where they were speeding up and trying to cruise the road with the square tires), so a brief bumpy ride is somewhat more forgivable than when you're at full speed. Also, the "fatness" of the wheels makes them pretty rounded even when they're going sideways, and they have some give with the inflation, so it's not nearly as square as even the rounded corner wheels with the hardened rim they used on Mythbusters.
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