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Best Thing Since Wheels

Good thing the gal who invented the wheel is dead, or, boy, would she be mad; someone finally invented something that runs circles around her dumb old idea.
Good thing the gal who invented the wheel is dead, or, boy, would she be mad; someone finally invented something that runs circles around her dumb old idea.The Cajun Crawler, created by seniors at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, is a personal mobility device that runs like a cross between a miniature tank and a Segway.

According to project leader Don Tamosaitis, the Crawler was designed and tested using SolidWorks CAD software, and runs on two 18-volt motors, one on each side.

Terrence Chambers, associate dean of the college of engineering, added:


The Crawler was a senior project that began as a class project for MCHE 363, the kinematics class I was teaching... This project was inspired by the artist Theo Jansen, who is both an artist and an engineer, who makes kinetic sculpture.

The Crawler tops out at 3 mph (although you have to check out the guy in the red racing suit and helmet about 4:15 into the video) and has creepy, insectile legs.

But it's also incredibly nimble and it's easy to imagine a whole range of practical applications, from getting wheelchair-bound people around tight corners to slipping cars into really tiny parking spaces.

Maybe in the current environment, this is the kind of "mobility" that could attract venture funding.