Omphalos hydrogen-propelled concept removes microplastics

Tire wear is a major source of microplastics, according to South Korean Omphalos designer Cheolhee Lee. Omphalos’ hydrogen propulsion and microplastic-collecting technologies assist tackle this problem.

The designer sees this notion in action at airports. The Omphalos is also designed to transport freight between terminals or logistical centers. It’s easy to understand.

The wheels underpin this gathering mechanism. Lee’s tires gather up road debris as they go.

Special grooves in the tires kick up plastic particles, and a vent hole in the wheel’s center, with a fan blade-like hub cap, sucks them in. Lee also observed that grooves can pick up more plastics and rubber with heavier cargo loads.

Lee worked on the Pureback Nexen Tire wheel system. First, the trash sucked into the machine is stored in those containers mounted to the vehicle’s core module. Lee doesn’t say how the storage spaces are unloaded and emptied, but it’s a concept.

This requires a robust business model. If such an idea becomes reality, a fleet operator will need to be ready to work with local and international recycling facilities. From there, the materials are recycled into new vehicle interiors, cell phone cases, lighters, pens, and possibly tires.

This machine’s other talents are logistics and cargo transportation. Each Omphalos end module stores commodities and packages delivered in airport hub ports.

This concept is likewise autonomous, and with a variety of hardware, software, and possibly AI, this transport vehicle may safely go through town with only a human monitoring all units in transit in case of a problem.

That’s only speculation, but we’re getting close. Lee’s idea incorporates hydrogen propulsion and simple, futuristic aesthetics.

However, this idea has previously been exposed through YUID Online Exhibition Degreeshow, an organization that showcases concepts that make us think differently, and I can tell the Omphalos has prompted me to ask serious concerns about what’s going outside my window.

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