The 1992 children's book Transport (Timelines) features this two-page spread of futuristic bicycle wheels, solar-powered cars, high-speed trains and fire engines with robotic arms.
See also:The Future World of Transportation
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Man, I remember this book! This book was awesome when I was six! But these days I just end up with questions that made perfect sense, somehow, in my first-grade logic - like why are the truck and ambulance so unstreamlined, why do the traffic cops drive a minivan, and just where is the chain and gearing mechanism on that bicycle?I'm a little surprised that something like that hasn't been adopted by weight-conscious high-end cyclists for front wheels, though - never mind giving it three spokes made of a titanium-latinum alloy or supermegahyperlightweight plastic, just remove it and the whole fork assembly!
The train looks a lot like the Shanghai maglev, but apart from that . . . it's a little sad how far we haven't come!
I'd think a bearing like that that could actually support the bike and rider without undue friction would be tricky to make--not to mention the problem that now the wheel rims have to be a lot stiffer to keep from flexing out of shape without any spokes. It may not be worth the trouble.As for the chain and gearing mechanism, I'd expect something like that to, perhaps, have an electric transmission. Put a generator on the pedals and motorize the rear wheel--you could even put a battery in the loop and make it a hybrid, as some people today have done. Though all this does have weight.
Understatement of the year: "After dark, there isn't much solar power."
Maybe our firetrucks don't have robot arms, but our garbage trucks do. Our local collectors just stop in front of the house, pick up our trash container, dump it out into their truck and put it back down where they found it. It's neat to watch.(I can see why you might streamline a firetruck, but garbage trucks just need a lot of storage space).
Reminds me of the Didik stuff at www.didik.com
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