Thermally Driven Vehicle Using Bimetal Rings
Akira Okuno, Shunsuke Yoshimoto, and Akio Yamamoto
The University of Tokyo
5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8563, Japan
A two-wheeled vehicle using bimetal sheets that travels on a hot horizontal surface by using only thermal energy is proposed herein. Each wheel is wrapped with a bimetal sheet, and the deformation of the sheet causes the wheel to roll. The rolling motion is investigated based on a simple physical model to provide insights into the rolling principle and its characteristics. Subsequently, by comparing several different wheel structures, the optimal wheel structure for the vehicle is selected. The performance of the developed vehicle is tested on a hot plate whose surface temperature is 100°C higher than the ambient air temperature. It is discovered experimentally that the vehicle can travel at a speed of approximately 60 mm/s when no load is applied. The vehicle can travel by supporting a load of approximately 400 g, which is almost double its weight.
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