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.
Claims available in
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  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  Flled- 1 1972 326,048 H1958 Switzerland 301 47  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 withdrawn and extended positions.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 When the pistons are withdrawn, the segments are spaced from each other but by srnaller distances and are disposed along a circle having a secnd and smaller diameter.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.