Outdoors

Rocket Mobility targets disabled outdoors lovers with all-terrain wheelchairs

Rocket Mobility targets disabl...
Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain wheelchair gives the mobility impaired a chance to enjoy the great outdoors
Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain wheelchair gives the mobility impaired a chance to enjoy the great outdoors
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Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain wheelchair gives the mobility impaired a chance to enjoy the great outdoors
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Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain wheelchair gives the mobility impaired a chance to enjoy the great outdoors
The Tomahawk with camo wrap and roll bar
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The Tomahawk with camo wrap and roll bar
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Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk comes standard in red, black, orange, or blue colors
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Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk comes standard in red, black, orange, or blue colors
The rear anti-tip wheels help keep the all-terrain wheelchair upright as it traverses cross country
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The rear anti-tip wheels help keep the all-terrain wheelchair upright as it traverses cross country
A battery indicator beside the seat lets you see how much juice it has left
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A battery indicator beside the seat lets you see how much juice it has left
The mechanical joystick can be set up on either the right or left side of the chair
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The mechanical joystick can be set up on either the right or left side of the chair
A side view of the red Tomahawk
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A side view of the red Tomahawk
A side view of the camo Tomahawk with roll bar out in the wilderness
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A side view of the camo Tomahawk with roll bar out in the wilderness
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View gallery - 10 images

Whoever said that losing your mobility also meant giving up your independence? We've already seen that the adventurous wheelchair user or walking-impaired person can head off road with a six-wheeled electric all-terrain vehicle or a caterpillar-tracked micro EV drive train. Now there's another option: Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain personal utility vehicle, which allows the wheelchair-bound to traverse up to 12 miles (19 km) cross country at a maximum speed of 6 mph (10 km/h).

The Tomahawk is the brainchild of company owner Brice Crawford, who saw first-hand how difficult it is to get around outdoors with a disability. His grandfather had a prosthetic leg after stepping on a land mine in World War II and his mother had difficulty walking thanks to nerve damage suffered during an operation that punctured an artery in her leg. With the goal of letting such people "get off the concrete and get back into nature," Crawford founded the Nebraska-based Rocket Mobility.

The company's first vehicle to hit the market is the 380-lb (172 kg) Tomahawk, which features a steel frame packing two deep-cycle 12-volt batteries to power its two 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) motors. It also sports a left- or right-mounted mechanical joystick control and boasts a zero turning radius of (so you can turn on the spot), an adjustable lap belt to keep you secure, along with flip-up arm rests and rear anti-tip wheels to ensure you don't take a backwards tumble if you hit a ditch as you climb a hill.

Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk comes standard in red, black, orange, or blue colors
Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk comes standard in red, black, orange, or blue colors

The caterpillar tracks provide 5.5 in (14 cm) of ground clearance for the vehicle's body, while its seat is situated at a height of 23 in (58 cm) and measures 19.5 in (50 cm) wide, with the whole vehicle measuring 38 in (97 cm) tall, 36 in (91 cm) wide, and 44 to 48.5 in (112 to 123 cm) long, depending on which extras you select.

The Tomahawk comes at a base price just shy of US$10,000, with optional extras and accessories pushing the cost up to a maximum of $12,960. Standard colors are black, red, orange, or blue, although you can pay an extra $495 for a custom frame color.

Other extras include a racing seat, roll bar, LED headlight, 20 amp battery charger, self-leveling drink holder, and a harness or extended lap belt. Hunting enthusiasts can have a gun rack and scabbard installed, along with a camo wrap on the frame, and there's also a fishing rod holder option.

Source: Rocket Mobility

View gallery - 10 images
6 comments
Rehab
Deep cycle batteries, to save money I guess? Would it not be possible to adapt a joy stick and seat to a ATV for real mobility? Can't see the price being any higher than your dozer chair.
bergamot69
@Rehab, Fair point, but the beauty of this design is that you can drive it straight into the back of a converted minivan, or similar, something you wouldn't want to do with a petrol powered vehicle. This vehicle would also be no noisier than an electric wheelchair. 6mph is also ample for a vehicle designed for use on pedestrian pathways. As such, it appears to be an 'all terrain' alternative to an electric wheelchair- and from personal experience, standard electric chairs, even outdoors ones, often struggle badly on broken, uneven surfaces especially if there is a change in level- eg crossing a road and climbing a kerb.
Slowburn
The tracks do give good flotation but they eat a lot of energy. Batteries are a pathetic way to store energy. A small LP gas fueled generator would be a nice option.
Douglas Loss
It appears to me that he's just copying Brad Soden's Tankchair: http://www.tankchair.com/
Keenan Lee
Big question is "Will the VA approve of this?" I'd really like one but the VA would have to spring for one.
unklmurray
Man, If you are on VA,build yer own,I'm on SSD,I only get 730.00 If I had the ability to come up with just a little bit more money each month I would have already builded me one similar,no not a tracked vehicle,because in most places they're not road legal, So as I have already posted,the only thing stopping me from being more mobile is the lack of dinero......LOL