With the ability to extend wheelbase and width, this ATV is more than meets the eye
Our resident patent sleuth has just uncovered a very interesting patent from Honda for a transforming ATV. And though we haven’t found any distinguishing “Autobot” or “Decepticon” badging, this patent application does feature some technology we’ve never seen before in an ATV.
According to the abstract portion of the patent application, this design is for an electric ATV and includes a central hub and four legs that are mounted to the hub with a wheel at the end of each leg. Each leg has its own motor that allows it to bend, extend and contract.
If we are reading this correctly, the idea is the transforming ATV can go from a compact stance with the legs tucked in close to the body or it can extend to lengthen the wheelbase and increase the width.
Some drawings seem to show handlebars and others do not. However, the descriptions seem to indicate that this ATV is being designed to accommodate a rider. Though the idea of being able to control it via a remote is certainly interesting.
We are curious whether the movement of the legs is controlled directly by the rider or if onboard computers will determine their position based on speed, wheel spin, and steering.
The benefits of having an ATV that can change size are varied, but one that sticks out to us is storage. When not in use, you can tuck the legs and wheels in close so it doesn’t take up too much space in your garage or on your trailer. But when you want to ride aggressively and on more technical terrain, you can increase the wheelbase and stretch out the width for added stability. Very cool.
Before you get too excited, this transforming ATV looks like more of a concept than anything that will show up at your local Honda dealer any time soon. But it does offer a glimpse into what Honda engineers are thinking about for the future. Here’s hoping Honda is on team Autobot, as we’d like to hang out with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee at the press intro.