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Publication numberUS3802743 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1974
Filing dateApr 17, 1972
Priority dateApr 17, 1972
Publication numberUS 3802743 A, US 3802743A, US-A-3802743, US3802743 A, US3802743A
InventorsHermanns W
Original AssigneeSpector G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable diameter wheel
US 3802743 A
A wheeled vehicle is provided with a plurality of wheels, each wheel being provided with separately actuatable means for varying the diameter between two fixed values, one small, the other large. Through the use of separately adjustable wheels the vehicle can traverse uneven surfaces such as steep hills and valleys without tilting or tipping.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Herman ns Apr. 9, 1974 1 VARIABLE-DIAMETER WHEEL 2,765,199 10/1956 Partin .L 301/47 [76] Inventor: William H. Hermanns, c/o George Q IGN A E TS OR A P CATIONS p t 3 Woolworth d g, 422,841 4 1925 Germany 301/46 233 Broadway, Tampa, Fla. 10007 9,385 10/1912 Great Britain 152/55 318,641 7/1902 France. 301/5 R [22] Flled- 1 1972 326,048 H1958 Switzerland 301 47 [21] Appl. No.: 244,456

Primary EramineF-KennethH. Betts Assistanr Eraminer-Reinhard J. lEisenzopf 52] U.S.Cl 301/5 R, 152/55, 301/16 A A O a & he 51 1m. (:1. B60b 19/04 gen m m n r of Search R, 16, 46, 47, 152/55 A wheeled vehicle is provided with a plurality of [561 CM 1 X iiilifiiirl ffi iZiZiZSfiiiiXli:522333131? UNITED STATES PATENTS fixed values, one small, the other large. Through the 489,446 1/1893 Anderson 301/5 R use of se arately adjustable heels the ehicle can "a- 3 V g s verse uneven surfaces such as steep hills and valleys ra 1 1,787,608 1/1931 Ansell 301/47 wlthout lung or m 1,980,314 11/1934 Barreres....' 4 Claims, 3 Drawing lFigures BOl/lo VARIABLE DIAMETER WHEEL SUMMARY or THE INVENTION Each wheel has a hub with a plurality of spokes extending radially outward therefrom in a common vertical plane in equidistantly spaced positions. Each spoke takes the form with a hydraulic cylinder with a piston therein that can be moved between. withdrawn and extended positions. The pistons have free ends remotely disposed from the hub and extending out of the'cylinders. Aplurality of circular segments are disposed peripherally about the pistons and are secured either to the ends or to members connected to these ends. When the pistons are fully extended the segments are spaced from each other but are disposed along a circle having a first diameter. When the pistons are withdrawn, the segments are spaced from each other but by srnaller distances and are disposed along a circle having a secnd and smaller diameter. Thus the diameter of the wheel'can be adjusted as required. Hydraulic fluid, under the control of a manually operable valve, flows through the hub to the cylinders to determine the piston positions and hence the wheel diameter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of my wheel; and

FIGv 2 is an end view of a vehicle in use employing my wheels. FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail of the structure shown in FIG. land shown in the same plane.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, a plurality of hydraulic cylinders extend radially outward from a central hub 12 in a common vertical plane in equidistantly spaced positions. These cylinders each contain a separate piston. Each cylinder and piston defines a spoke in a wheel. Each piston has a free end extending out of its cylinder remote from the hub. Each piston has a withdrawn position'(shown in solid line of FIG. 1) and an extended position (shown in phantom in FIG. 1 These spokes have two different lengths as shown at 14A (first spoke) and 148 (second spoke) and alternate in position with each adjacent pair of spokes of one length being separated by a spoke of the other length. The spokes are supported by circle 24.

' A plurality of circular segments 16 lie along the path of either a first diameter circle shown in phantom at 18 or a second diameter circle shown in solid line at 20. In both cases the segments are separated from each other, the separation decreasing with decreasing circle size.

Each second piston extends into a space between adjacent segments 16. Each first piston is connected directly to the center of a corresponding segment.

As shown in greater detail in FIG. 3, it is to be noted that the spokes 14A are at their outward ends connected to gussets 28 welded to rolled plates 30. A

checker type wear plate 32 is bolted to plate 30; the wear plate 32 being in face to face alignment with wear plates 34 attached to an inner side of wheel rim segments l6.

' Upon the outer side of the wheel rim segments 16, there are bolted a plurality of rubber traction pads 36, in spaced apart relation, as shown in FIG. 3.

' The resulting wheel can have its diameter varied as previously described.

FIG. 2 shows a vehicle 26 having one wheel of large diameter and an opposite wheel or smaller diameter whereby it can movein level position on a hill or the like.

I claim as follows:

l. A variable diameter wheel of the type designed to be incrementally retractable from a first diameter to a second, concentric, smaller diameter and expandable from said second diameter to said first diameter, said a wheel comprising: a plurality of first spokes equidistantly attached about the periphery of a hub and extending radially outward therefrom in a common plane; a corresponding plurality of second spokes equidistantly attached in alternating arrangement with said first spokes about said periphery of said hub and extending radially outward therefrom in said common plane, said second spokes being ofa predetermined lesseilongitudinal dimension than said first spokes; support means comprising a circle attached to said first and second spokes at a predetermined distance from said hub, whereby said first and second spokes are sup ported in fixed equidistant relation to one another; a plurality of circular segments including wear plates attached to theconcave sides thereof disposed in spaced apart relation along a circle of said first diameter and attached at their midpoints to the outer extremity of said first spokes; a plurality of reinforcing means attached to the outer extremity of said second spokes and abutting the concave surfaces of two of said wear plates adjacent each other; and hydraulic means connected to said first and second spokes to vary the length of said first and second spokes, whereby the length of said spokes determines which of said diameters is defined by said segments.

2. A wheel as in claim 1 wherein. said first and second spokes comprise an hydraulic cylinder including a piston mounted therein, said piston including a free end comprising said outer extremity of said first and second spokes extending out of said cylinder remotely from said hub.

3. A wheel as in claim 2 wherein said reinforcing means comprise substantially triangular gussets attached at their apex to said free 'ends of said second spokes, said gussets further including a rolled plate secured to the convex outer edge thereof and a checker type plate fastened to the convex outer face of said rolled plate, whereby said checker type plate abuts the concave surfaces of two of said wear plates adjacent each other.

4. A wheel as in claim 2 wherein said circular segments further include traction treads formed of elastic material attached to the convex surface thereof.

Patent Citations
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US489446 *Mar 18, 1892Jan 10, 1893 Corn-planter
US756290 *Sep 15, 1902Apr 5, 1904Robert Cooke SayerWheel.
US1787608 *Oct 9, 1929Jan 6, 1931Ansell Louis KAntiskidding device for motor vehicles
US1980314 *Dec 22, 1931Nov 13, 1934Antonio CardonaAutomobile wheel
US2765199 *Feb 17, 1956Oct 2, 1956Partin Earl EAnti-skid wheel assembly
US3358634 *Jan 27, 1966Dec 19, 1967Pratt Houston WAmphibious vehicle
CH326048A * Title not available
DE422841C *Apr 12, 1925Dec 12, 1925Wilhelm Flad JunEinstellvorrichtung fuer radial bewegliche Greifer an Treibraedern fuer Kraftfahrzeuge
FR318641A * Title not available
GB191209385A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4046339 *May 5, 1976Sep 6, 1977Stancliffe Floyd SLanding gear for an aircraft including expansible wheels
US4211268 *Apr 28, 1978Jul 8, 1980Borut RavnikarWheel
US5492390 *Apr 20, 1994Feb 20, 1996Nudvuck EnterprisesVariable shaped wheel
US5839795 *Oct 24, 1996Nov 24, 1998Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Variable outer diameter wheel for vehicles
US6264283 *Jan 31, 2000Jul 24, 2001Steven RehkemperAdjustable wheel for toy vehicles
US7380618Feb 22, 2005Jun 3, 2008Gamma Two, Inc.Stair climbing platform apparatus and method
US7806208May 30, 2008Oct 5, 2010Gamma Two, Inc.Stair climbing platform apparatus and method
US8141606Nov 12, 2009Mar 27, 2012The Goodyear Tire & Rubber CompanyTire
US20120104834 *Oct 19, 2011May 3, 2012Oto Melara S.P.A.Variable-diameter wheel
US20140265536 *Mar 14, 2014Sep 18, 2014Carl E. HeinSegmented wheel and method and system for controlling a segmented wheel
CN1053621C *Nov 3, 1994Jun 21, 2000松下电器产业株式会社Variable outer diameter wheel and vehicle providing it
CN101491995BMar 2, 2009Jan 12, 2011北京航空航天大学Elastic helical wheel rack suitable of variable diameter wheel
CN101503043BMar 2, 2009Jan 12, 2011北京航空航天大学Swing reducing wheel carrier for diameter-variable wheel
DE3327735A1 *Aug 1, 1983Feb 21, 1985Jun Heinrich MuellerSnow wheel
DE3348012C2 *Aug 1, 1983Jun 16, 1988Jun. Heinrich 8060 Dachau De MuellerSnow wheel
EP0665128A1 *Jan 24, 1995Aug 2, 1995Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Variable outer diameter wheel and vehicle providing it
EP1958793A1 *Dec 1, 2006Aug 20, 2008The Royal College of ArtVehicle wheel
WO2008065407A1 *Nov 29, 2007Jun 5, 2008Royal College Of ArtVehicle wheel
WO2012140211A1 *Apr 13, 2012Oct 18, 2012Dieter AmmerWheel having a variable diameter
U.S. Classification301/5.1, 301/16, 152/55
International ClassificationB60B25/00, B60B19/04, B60B25/02
Cooperative ClassificationB60B19/04, B60B25/02
European ClassificationB60B19/04, B60B25/02