Most typical males constantly worry about our cars. “Is my oil low?”, “what is that ‘clunk’ing noise?”, “Did my wife put premium unleaded in this like I told her?”, “Why is my ‘check engine’ light on again?”. They even occasionally check the tires to see if they look low on air, and make sure to change them to studded tires for brutal winters. But what if you didn’t have to ever change the tire again dependent on the weather? What if you could buy one tire that would be designed to change to the weather? Yes, there may be a new kid in town in terms of cars and transportation; the Pumplon wheel could be tire of the future.
The Pumplon wheel, which resembles the shape of a pumpkin, or even a melon depending on its shape (hence the name Pumplon), is designed to change shape to whatever the road conditions call for through a rotary mechanism.
Living in a climate where you get to experience the four seasons to their extreme, you can get wet & rainy springs, 100-plus degree summers, chilly and colorful falls, and blistering cold winters. If you were to install the Pumplon on your car, according to Pumplon, you would not need to change them for any weather reason or road condition. Say for instance it was spring-time and there was a heavy rainstorm, by switching the Pumplons to the skinnier shape, it would increase contact pressure, cutting through the water on the road, allowing you to more safely arrive at your destination. Or if the road is flooded, switch the tires to the widest setting to make the car amphibious. In the summer, one may just want to hit the highway and cruise with the top down and feel the find in their hair, and for that they would change the Pumplon to the normal, or “ball”-look setting. For the fall and winter, when you may be trudging through mud or snow (intentionally or not), you will need as much surface area out of my tires as possible. You would consequently set the tire to its “melon” shape to get as much grip and surface area as possible, hopefully getting yourself unstuck in the mountain, or get you through the snow-packed roads to grandma’s house for Christmas.
With the world “going green”, it has brought about some rather interesting, very innovative ideas and concepts, and this one is no exception. The green benefits can be very numerous, from reducing travel times to increasing fuel efficiency.
The Pumplon wheel is the creation of Osmar Vicente Rodriguez, a native of Brazil, also a professor of industrial design at RCA Innovation. His intention for creating the Pumplon was primarily for solving transportation problems for farmers in developing countries where the majority of roads are either unkempt and in very bad condition.
How does it work, you may ask? The secret to the Pumplon is a steel shaft that can expand and retract by means of a rotary mechanism, pneumatic or hydraulic, adjusting rings which makes the wheel deformation wider or narrower.
The material of the tires has been the subject of special consideration. According to Rodriguez, “initially they were steel, but we replaced it with a thermoplastic material, which is easier to produce, lighter and cheaper, and is recyclable. The cover is of vulcanized rubber, similar to that used in tires conventionally, but more flexible to allow changes in size.”