Ring-Drive Technology

ORBIS’ patented Ring-Drive™ technology divides a wheel or cog into two essential parts — a stationary hub and a rim or “ring.” The ring rotates about the stationary hub, driven by a lightweight, high-speed motor. ORBIS technology eliminates a substantial number of drive-train parts while dramatically improving mass and inertia, braking and maneuverability.

ORBIS currently offers Ring-Drive™ wheels in a 19” x 8” form factor. ORBIS Ring-Drive™ Comparison Specifications (PDF)

Mass & Inertia

By limiting the rotating mass to the rim, brake ring and tire, the resistance to rotation or moment of inertia is greatly improved. The Ring-Drive™ wheel spins more easily and keeps spinning longer.


ORBIS’ Ring-Drive™ wheel has shown improvements in mechanical and regenerative braking. Recent on-road comparison tests with a Honda Type R, using Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) protocols and thermal infrared imagery, included a series of simulated panic stops and revealed a 30% reduction in mechanical brake temperatures. These results show an increase in safety and durability and reduced maintenance costs.


ORBIS’ Ring-Drive™ technology facilitates novel suspension and steering methods that offer increased ground clearance and the robustness necessary to surmount terrain impassable by conventional drive-trains. ORBIS wheels allow forward, rearward and sideways motion, while steering each wheel independently or in unison. Torque vectoring facilitates more finely tuned control in turning, pivot (rotate within the vehicle’s own dimensions), and re-orientation, all at reduced cost, weight, and complexity.


The strain-tuned, 3-pointed stationary bearing spider of the patented Orbis Ring-Wheel combined with material science advances, increase overall wheel assembly stiffness and reduce friction five-fold. Further, by integrating the motor with the suspension upright (knuckle), the moment arm advantage created by the caliper and motor placement at the furthest inside edge of the rotating circumference of the rim or “ring” improves braking effectiveness by 40% (measured by braking temperature reduction). In turn, this decreases the rotating mass of a wheel such that the moment of inertia of an aluminum Orbis Ring-Wheel approximates that of a conventional carbon composite wheel. This is how an Orbis Ring-Wheel can incorporate a 31lb/50hp brushless motor with zero penalty in unsprung weight.


19" x 8" Form Factor

Because the ORBIS Ring-Drive™ wheel does not have an axle in the conventional sense, the 19” x 8” form factor was chosen over all other wheel sizes. ORBIS can substitute a 19” wheel for a 15” wheel without raising the height or center of gravity of a vehicle.

See ORBIS in action