I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about motors and really like the simplicity of having a motor embedded in the hub wheels.
Being able to use a solution like this would save a lot of engineering work in terms of building axles, hubs, and a method to transfer power from the motors to the wheels. You often see these hubs with 10″ wheels for mini-motos and e-bikes and the like. At present I think a 10″ wheel would be too small. I’ve also seen a lot these hubs embedded into bicycle wheels like this one which is for sale on Alibaba.com and is available with a 16″, 18″ or 20″ wheel.
At the moment, I’m not wholly confident that a thin wheel like this would provide enough traction, however, whilst thinking about how the wheel could be attached to the frame, it did give rise to another prototyping idea…
It wouldn’t be too difficult to make a very quick but full scale mock-up using second-hand bicycle parts.