No-roll quad Dyson award finalist

A quad bike that doesn’t roll is one of the finalists for the James Dyson Award.

Tahr Quad was designed by Nick Marks.

Four wheel quad bikes popular for farming can roll over in difficult terrain causing 850 injuries in New Zealand every year. Tahr Quad is a bike designed specifically for farming. It uses a completely different suspension and chassis system in combination with intelligent computer technology to prevent four wheel vehicles from rolling.

Nick Marks, a 24 year old designer from Torbay, Auckland designed an automatic balancing system, which borrows its principle from two-wheel bikes which lean into corners. Internally it gyrates and shifts the bike’s mass and lowers its centre of gravity, stabilising the vehicle and rider. All four wheels are designed to maintain contact with the terrain. . .

Another youtube clip shows the design process.

This sounds like a very good invention which would be much safer than conventional quad bikes.

Other finalists for the award are: Cortex, a lightweight and breathable cast for fractured bones designed by Jake Evill, and Fabseat, a desk chair that people can create for themselves by using materials that have been cut to their individual body measurements and cushioning preferences, designed by Evan Thomas.

Hat tip: PM of NZ.

8 Responses to No-roll quad Dyson award finalist

  1. Ross McCorquodale says:

    As somebody who considers that I know something about suspension design, I really can’t see from the pictures or the animations that there is anything beneficial here. Just what is the advantage of the design?


  2. homepaddock says:

    I think it’s much more stable than the conventional design.


  3. Ross McCorquodale says:

    You “think”? Reports describe it as a “Self-righting concept”. Some more information, please. For a start, is it a passive or active system?


  4. Armchair Critic says:

    The point of the post, as I read it, is to make people aware of the existence of the technology, rather than provide the full details. If you can’t find the information you want in the links, you are probably better off using Google, or contacting the developer of the technology, because demanding answers and information from Ele makes you look rude.


  5. homepaddock says:

    Thank you AC.
    Ross – all I know about it is what was in the post and the links. If you want to know more contact Nick Marks.


  6. Ross McCorquodale says:

    Thank you both. The reason I came to Homepaddock was the link in the Herald: “If you want to learn more visit”. I did also Google it, with only circular references found, back to where I came from.

    My complete and unreserved apologies if I am wrong – and I sincerely hope that I am – but this didn’t look any different to any number of over-hyped, badly worded articles which are written by somebody who has mis-quoted and generally misunderstood the whole concept.

    I’m becoming quite concerned about the poor service offered to us by the mainstream media. With rare exceptions (one is Kim Hill on Radio NZ), people with technical and scientific education seem to have vanished from both printed and broadcast media. Especially TV. (And I know that Kim would be the first to protest that she is no expert. However, she takes the time to familiarise herself with the science and she presents it very well.) No longer can you believe much – if anything – which is published. Some of it is very bad. And ultimately that becomes very dangerous in a democracy.

    In this particular case, I feel that I ought to have been able to make some sense of it. And I can’t, even with a pretty good working knowledge of suspension design. So I felt that I had been let down, especially by the Herald, yet again…

    Cheers and thanks for the suggestions

    Ross McCorquodale


  7. Ross McCorquodale says:

    Thanks. I didn’t find those, although I have found most of what is on the Behance site already this evening by blundering through the James Dyson Foundation site. (I would have thought “Tahr” and “Nick Marks” were unique enough words to Google search with – maybe Google thinks it knows better than me what I want to look for…)

    The IDSA page definitely gives the impression of a working machine, but it’s a very long way from that. There are half a dozen brand new ideas – or ideas used in brand new ways.

    Getting any one of these systems to work properly is a full-time project for a good-sized team, and each is worthy of an investment of time and money from academic and/or commercial interests. There are many potential difficulties involved in all of them, and a lot of prototyping, testing, and modification will be needed. Finally they need to be integrated into the one vehicle.

    (Actually if the whole thing works, it represents the absolute in safety for the driver/rider. Completely autonomous, it wouldn’t need one…)

    And one final thought. A situationally-aware and danger-averse (yet dangerous in its own right), eco-friendly, capable and powerful means of transport over rugged country has been used for years: Equus ferus caballus – the horse…




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