Michelin has showcased a potentially disruptive technology with significant ramifications for the future for mobility: an airless, integrated tyre and wheel combination dubbed the TWEEL (i.e. Tyre/WhEEL) . The Tweel promises performance levels beyond those possible with conventional pneumatic technology. The first commercial applications of the Tweel will be in lower-speed, lower-weight vehicles such as the iBOT mobility device and Segway's Concept Centaur. Designed by Segway-inventor Dean Kamen, the iBOT mobility device has the ability to climb stairs and navigate uneven terrain, offering mobility freedom impossible with traditional wheelchairs. Additionally, Segway's Concept Centaur, a prototype that applies self-balancing technology to a four-wheel device, has also been equipped with Tweel to increase its performance potential.
Beyond these first real-world applications, Michelin has additional projects for Tweel on construction skidsteers and a variety of military vehicles.
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