Shape matters, whether it's the shape of an egg or a bridge, or how fibers are woven together. The shape of a wheel or tire is something we tend to take for granted. There are various strategies for altering patterns on the surface of tires to decrease friction or increase grip, but the overall shape of the wheel has remained consistent.

The inventor of Sharkwheel says the shape of a cube inspired him to develop his new wheel for skateboards. Rather than the hard angles of a cube, the wheel actually uses sine waves, or smooth, repetitive curves, in its structure. You can read about the rationale and potential perks of the wheel's shape (less contact, less rolling resistance, increased control) on Sharkwheel's tech page.

It's not clear yet what the measured effects of the wheel's shape are – does the wheel require fewer energy inputs to roll faster? – but it's interesting to think about how the invention might be applied in other ways, or how it might inspire others to rethink the wheel. Wheels are not only important in transportation, they appear in manufacturing, building parts, small equipment, and more. Shape matters, even in instances where we thought it would never change.

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