Ball bearings are in your car, your bike, your skateboard, all sorts of machines with moving parts. These genius little devices have been around for centuries, using the magic of physics to reduce friction. In that time, their design has remained mostly unchanged. But could make them spin better and last longer, all without grease.
Bearings work to help one surface slide along another by minimizing the points of friction between the two. Imagine sliding a book across a desk. There's friction at all points where the book is touching the surface. But if you put that book on top of some pencils, there's only friction where the book touches the pencils and where the pencils touch the desk. Suddenly that book is practically racing across the table if you so much as nudge it.
Ball bearings take this same principle and wrap it around into a donut shape, flat surfaces on the inside and outside, balls in the middle. The catch is that you have to keep these balls from bumping into each other. This is typically done with some sort of cage, a metal or plastic framework that keeps the balls from touching. Unfortunately this introduces more friction, and in order to fight it, ball bearings have to be greased or lubed so that they don't lock up and break.
New ball bearings developed by solve that problem in an ingenious new way. Instead of forcing balls apart with a cage or retainer, Coo Space puts small divots in the track the balls roll over. These divots subtly speed up and slow down the balls just so, and the end result is balls that will never clash, even with no cage. That means 10 times less friction than traditional bearings and no need to ever lube them up. Win win!
So far the new bearings are in the prototype stage, but Coo Space is already working with manufacturers to bring the high-efficiency, low-maintenance bearings to market. Ultimately, this tiny design change to ancient tech could make for industrial machines that break down far less often, car wheels that need less sustained energy to keep going, or skateboards that roll on and on and on and on. I hope they roll into production soon.