For people who cannot walk, a wheelchair can help them maintain their independence. However, most standard wheelchairs have trouble rolling over natural terrain such as dirt, mud, sand and water. This can mean that many outdoor enthusiasts who were disabled in an accident may have been forced to give up activities such as hunting and fishing.
An inventor has designed a new wheelchair that he says can go almost anywhere and allow users to go off of paved surfaces outside. He calls it the Action Trackchair. It combines electric wheelchair technology and that used in snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles to go over rough or soft ground.
The chair has tank-like treads on each side. The user controls it using a joystick, and can go up to four miles per hour. The seat itself tilts to keep the user level, to reduce the risk of falling out. Accessories such as toolboxes, trays and even a gun rack can help accommodate the user’s disabilities while hunting, fishing or engaged in a similar activity.
The inventor was inspired to create the Action Trackchair after his son was paralyzed in a car accident in 2003. He used his knowledge from working in motorsports to develop the wheelchair. By 2009, he sold his first chair. He is currently working on a device to allow the user to stand up on off-road surfaces.
The chairs are not cheap, costing up to $12,000. But for people who can afford it, this device may help make outdoor activities easier.
Source: CNN, “All-terrain wheelchair helps disabled get back on track,” Natalie Angley, Oct. 16, 2013