Friday, April 8, 2011

TBs TechTOC 11 - Hurricane

Nathanaël Kuipers, just presented his latest Technic creation. Truly one of a kind!
It is a model from the no less fantastic and innovative, Jeep Hurricane.
Hurricane is a concept off-roader unveiled in 2005, at North American International Auto Show in Detroit by Jeep, a subsidiary of Daimler-Chrysler.
Among its distinctive features, this concept vehicle includes a couple of HEMI engines (one at front and another on the back), and several steering modes including the ability to turn itself completely around in place.

The first thing I realized was how the new 8110, Unimog U400 wheels, should fit nicely in this model, once they become available.

While Nathanaël reproduced most of the Hurricane details, like bumpers, seats, dashboard, each wheel independent suspension and aesthetics, this is nothing compared to the drive train which reproduces the several steering modes, apart from crab steering.
It is not the first Hurricane built with LEGO Technic, but most likely the first one with fully coupled steering control, delivering both "conventional" AWD with 4WS and Zero Steering with "Skid Steer" like, drive options.
The original concept from Daimler-Chrysler must use some sophisticated  electronics to control the wheels all-together and  keep them properly oriented to fit the active steering mode. On his model Nathanaël needed this to be ensured via mechanical links.
Somehow it turned too much complex to have the four wheels connected all the time and implement all the Hurricane steering modes at the same time. Thus the Crab Steering option needed to be drop.
Hence still some room for further innovation, ahead of you...

Notice the wheels on both sides, run in different directions (similar to Pivot steering, a Skid steer maneuver)
when the Zero-Steering mode is activated, in order to make the vehicle to turn over itself.

It is about minute 2' 10'', the show starts and we see a demo from the Zero-Steering functionality.
Notice the steering mode switch must be done with the wheels aligned straight (probably also the same as with the real concept model), otherwise something may jump out of its place...

Did you realize the solution found, to make both steering modes work over the same design?
Purely "Out-of-the-box Thinking" I'd say!

If you did not, definitely it won't be the bottom view below that will enlighten you. Despite often the most interesting view from a large Technic car, it seems in this case a lot of the interesting bits and mechanics are tucked away deep inside the structure and its layers.

As any AWD vehicle, this one also requires more than one differential as you can clearly see from the bottom view above (except the central one which has a different purpose). These allow for instance the wheels to run at different speeds while turning, control traction, etc...

Clearly the Hurricane is a 4x4x4 (Four Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Steer) class vehicle.
So lets dig a bit more on the original Hurricane steering features,as explained into the great HowStuffWorks website.

The Hurricane's steering system is a marvel of engineering all by itself. There are multiple steering modes using four-wheel independent steering. That means that each wheel can turn separately from the others.

In standard steering mode, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, which tightens the turning radius and makes for more accurate steering. In a second mode, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels, meaning the Hurricane can "crab-steer" -- move to the side without changing the direction that it faces.

A third mode, utilizing the "T-Box Zero Steer" mechanism, allows all four wheels to "toe-in" and changes the drive direction to each wheel so that they alternate. The result? The Jeep Hurricane has a turning radius of zero. The Hurricane can actually rotate in place.

As you should be expecting, there is also additional information and tons of great photos, from other sources where Nathanaël uses to publish his models: MOCpages and Brickshelf.

So, was it innovative enough this time?

Just hope that Nathanaël would come now with a post from his own, to show the details how did he achieved this model.

Learn more about, at HowStuffWorks:
- How the Jeep Hurricane Works
- How Four-Wheel Drive Works
- How Car Steering Works

Learn more about, at Wikipedia:
- Jeep Hurricane
- Skid Steer


Junkstyle Gio said...

This is totally incredible!
Insane and out of this world!
Only one persone could make this!

Barman said...

Second that Junkstyle Gio.
I saw a Hurricane on Brickshelf a year ago and it was wobbelly and didn't work all that well.
It's just great work to see this monster in action and the looks come very close to the original.
Two thumbs up for this MOC.

Anonymous said...

I think I also remember seeing a model similar to this on brickshelf before. I don't understand why in some pictures it shows battery chamber and it others it shows a second seat? Also why not the video show the model zero degree turn? Is it just a feature or does it actually revolve in zero mode?

TechnicBRICKs said...

There is a link in the post to a previous video from Contech7.
Guess this is the model whose photos, you and Barman, have seen before at Brickshelf.

nicholas said...

How did he get 4 small bevel gears in that differential? Does it not only support 3? I am confused.

TechnicBRICKs said...


notice the diffs used are the 2nd generation ones and not the latest version (3rd generation).
Thus it is possible to get 4 small bevel gears in!
Not easy to assemble, but possible. And surprisingly the 4th gear keeps in place.

Contech7 said...

Wow this is great! His model is huge! Much larger and complex than the one I made and more proportional to the tires, unlike mine. The mechanism on his model that pulls the tires inward for zero turning is like nothing I have ever seen before. All the gearing on his model seems very complex as well. Great job! Wish we could see it move on its own.

minks502 said...

that "how stuff works" picture is wrong, if you look at how the drive shafts are turning, the wheels would be pulling at each other.

Al said...

Now THATS innovative ;^).

Anonymous said...

Awesome! In my opinion, this is the best Technic model ever made.

Lego Mark said...

i have created a gearbox that might help your steering will allow you to steer both the wheels on either side at the same time in the same dirrection or in the opposite dirrection.
my blog:marky

Unknown said...

How did he get 4 gears in two that middle differential?

TechnicBRICKs said...

@Youtube aholic

It is not extremely easy but can be done manually with some perseverance.
I've tested it myself, with success.

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