Science: Flip-Flop

By the time John F. Kopczynski graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology ten years ago, he was thinking seriously about wheels. Why, he asked himself, should they always be round? Maybe oval wheels would do some jobs better. Last week, Kopczynski (now 31 and president of Buffalo's Pivot Punch and Die Corp.) displayed a set of something he calls "Walk Wheels." They are oval in shape and can flip-flop through mud or sand that would founder conventional round wheels.

The oval wheels are hitched together in pairs, two of them replacing each drive wheel of a vehicle. Between their hubs is a...

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