Pedal Dozer Project

Futuristic Track Design

from the past...

futuristic track design

Posted on this site is an un-referenced track design.

Looks to have a contiunous rubber track cast specially for this purpose. Advanced tread design will aid in self-cleaning mud and debris from clogging the tread pattern. Double leaf spring suspension on the bogies, slanted bogie positioning to aid track alignment and position, advanced cast wheels are likely plastic or aluminum for weight savings.

Despite these high-tech seeming elements, others indicate it is dated. leaf springs are now typically replaced by coil springs and cylindrical shock absorbers, and the body of the vehicle seems to be made of wood beams and steel banding which has been replaced with all metal or composite construction techniques.

Still, the track design itself fascinates.





Tracked Boat from WWII

tracked boat

From the Germans during WWII: Panzerfahre Gepanzerte Landwasserschleppen. This tracked boat claimed to carry 20 people plus 3 operators. It was the early development efforts for a more effective amphibious landing craft capable of traversing difficult terrain and able to make significant inland maneuvers. Capable of sea launches to transport onto land as well as cross rivers and other water barriers to land access.

track boat 2

Second iteration opf the concept -- the Panzerfahre Gepanzerte Landwasserschleppen 2 -- more closely resembles modern landing craft. This example has startling similarity to the modern US efforts as described here.

tracked boat 22



Another Tracked Motorcycle

tracked motorcycle

Looks like a similar construction to this one but with larger and more aggressive treads and aesthetic design.


Remote Controlled Tracked Lawnmower

remote controlled tracked lawnmower

A company called Evatech makes and sells some pretty fancy tracked lawnmowers for industrial applications. They're intended for mowing on steep slopes, low overhead access, and anywhere too dangerous for a human operator.

tracked lawnmower

The models have a gas powered lawnmower blade drive and an electric drive for the tracks. Looks to me like they're using some simple off-the-shelf drive components from electric mobility scooters, some readily available industrial rubber tracks, R/C controllers, and lawnmower machinery.

I like the ingenuity of design and the build looks robust. Their drive sprocket, for example, appears to be an elegant build solution: bolts with sleeves positioned around the circumference of a round metal plate. Simple and effective.

Curious to know how intensive they are to operate by remote control.


1939 Lehaitre Tracked Motorcycle

I present the 1939 Lehaitre tracked motorcycle. WWII made engineers see tanks and tracked vehicles everywhere, and apparently this enthusiasm spilled over to the world of motorcycles.


Amphibious Tracked Transport Vehicle

CAAT - Amphibious Tracked Transport Vehicle

DARPA funded the development of this tracked vehicle -- Captive Air Amphibious Transporter (CAAT) -- which is part paddle wheeler and part tank. Designed to be an autonomous transport vehicle in land and water, this vehicle seems to take the best qualities of the track tread and make it work in these two environments.


Smart Tracker


Now, I know this is cool and all, but it is also a patent fake, 'shopped', a photoshop composite image. This image of a 'Tracked Urban Mobility Scout" or TUMS appears to be someone's imagination exploring the idea of fitting a Mercedes Smart car with a German Military Weasel light tank.


3D Printable Track Design

A visitor to the site -- t00tie -- sent over a link to a very cool 3D printer model for plastic tracks.

3D printable track model

The model is called "Moon Rover" created by emmett on the site Thingiverse. The track design is derived originally from a expanding bracelet and it utilizes the pliability of ABS with the natural flex of the deep inset hinges between each cleat to get a simple yet effective tread.

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Omni-Crawler Track Design

This innovative track design from Japan's Osaka University allow a vehicle to carry heavy weight and gain the advantage of multiple directions of travel.

The design uses interesting split track layout mounted on wheels they call omni-balls -- spherical balls split into two hemispheres -- as the drive mechanism for the track. It appears from the video that the drive shaft attaches to the front and rear of the track mechanism and this supports the weight of the vehicle and transmits power and control inputs to the track.


All Terrain Tracked Motorcycle

As part of our brainstorming session, Greg and I discussed the possibility of a single tracked bicycle design where the track could flex into an arc for the purposes of cornering. Turns out, a couple of crafty German designers, Tilmann Schlootz and Oliver Keller, thought of this long ago and in 2006 released a motorcycle model for the Michelin Challenge Design competition.

baal tracked motorcycle


Local Students Make Pedal Powered Track Vehicle

I saw this in the Globe and Mail and had to post it here:

Pedal powered Tracked vehicle

I really like their concept and the simplicity of the design. Seems like they used a snowmobile track, cut in half down its length, and all the stock drive cogs and idler wheels. Bicycle pedals and frames welded on to a square tube chassis rounds out the package. I'm curious to know how well it works and to talk with these guys... If you're out there drop us a comment!


Sketch of Overall Design Concept


Notice the cab-forward position of the driver(s) who also pedal the vehicle. The mid section is two doubleseat benches positioned sideways for the passengers (tentative seating plan) and a gear section to the rear where the sketch shows a cooler and radio.

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