The wheel is a technology that has been around for thousands of years. At this point, we take them for granted. Wheels are actually a lot more interesting than the average person might think. Here are a few interesting facts about them.
It Is a Completely Human Invention
Most early inventions were inspired by things that humans saw in nature. However, there are no wheels in nature. Ancient humans had a problem that needed to be solved, and they came up with something totally unique. Interestingly, it is thought that the first wheels were not for transportation but for making pottery, a technology we still have today.
Some Wheels Can Carry a Lot of Weight
Wheels have a heavy job. Some, like industrial steel caster wheels, are specially designed to help workers move heavy materials more easily. A safety feature of this wheel type is the wheel lock. If you are moving heavy loads, you want to make sure you can lock the wheels in place and prevent the cart from getting away from you.
The Wheel Is an Evolving Technology
You make think that the wheel you see in your everyday life hasn’t changed since ancient times, but in fact, wheel technology is innovating all the time. Some of the new things you may see wheels doing in the future include shape-shifting to match the terrain they are on, self-repairing wheels, 3D printed wheels, folding wheels, and more. The next time someone says that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you can let them know that the wheel is being reinvented all the time!
Wheels have a long and fascinating history and a wide-open future. What seems like an everyday static feature of our lives actually has a lot more to it. So next time you’re riding a bike or pushing a shopping cart, consider what is making that possible.