HexHog ATV for wheelchair users who want to rough it
The HexHog will set you back from £18,000 to £25,000 (Photo: HexHog)
Though electric wheelchairs offer users increased mobility, they don't tend to perform very well in off-road conditions. British engineer Sion Pierce aims to give disabled people another option in this regard with the HexHog, a six-wheeled, electric ATV (all terrain vehicle) that, like the UNiMO is designed to take on the most difficult terrain you can throw at it.
The result of five years engineering and testing in a rugged area of North Wales, UK, the HexHog is legally classed as an ATV and not a standard electric wheelchair. "You can’t take the HexHog into supermarkets, but you can cross moorland, farmland or even peat bogs," explains Pierce. With the purchase of an additional kit, it can even be driven on the road like a car, though in the UK at least, this will require a standard car license.
The HexHog is powered by a lithium-ion battery and two sealed pancake motors, which drive the six wheels independently. It has a range of around 8 to 12 miles (13 to 19 km), depending on terrain, and a full charge should take no more than 2.5 hours. Measuring just under 4 ft (1.2 m) wide and tipping the scales at 275 kg (606 lb), it can be transported using a small trailer. Top speed is rated as 8.5 mph (13.6 km/h), and a 50 percent gradient should prove no obstacle. It also has a very tight turning circle.
The HexHog is controlled by joystick, and features a control system that moves the seat into a lower position to make transferring from a wheelchair easier. A remote control is also available for independent loading onto a trailer.
The HexHog will set you back from £18,000 to £25,000 (around US$30,200 to $42,000), depending on options. The video below shows it in action.
About the Author
Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road.
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I suppose you could put a small ICE generator on the back so you can wander around all day.
I didn't notice the "skull-crushing" opportunity here. Something should be done about that.
This thing is soo cool.
Stuff like this is what I look for on GizMag!
OMG 30k$ for a cool looking vehicle? 275 kg, 13 km/h and 15km range?!? Outrageous!
And imagine you get to really tough terrain and it flips forward - your skull is automatically crushed by the "safety" cage...
I agree, it is way cool. The price seems rather steep. Perhaps someone could come up with something similar but at a much lower price.
It is a variation of the tractor tread wheel chair. I believe the tractor tread chair is much lower in price.
Being in the process of becoming even more disabled I'm all for improving mobility for those with mobility problems.
This machine while interesting is not a particularly attractive offering due to its high price and very limited range.
wow easy entry, but my question is how does the handicapable get out of it now? or do you just do a mitt romney and leave him there for the ride home?
The price is entirely reasonable for a machine that will be built in tiny numbers, and would also need to offer a lot of customising to suit different people with different builds and degree of disability- apart from the most basic 'fold-up' push wheelchairs, one size definately does not fit all (I've worked extensively with people with all sorts of disabilities).
The weight is not unreasonable either- a 'standard' indoor/outdoor electric wheelchair (if there is such a thing) tends to weigh in at around 110kg (often considerably heavier than the person in it), and 'basic' RWD electric wheelchairs struggle on uneven pavement, let alone the kind of surfaces this thing is designed to tackle.
This machine needs a much heavier frame to resist torque (frame twisting) and vibration, and to provide effective mounting for the all-terrain suspension. Further, a very heavy frame is absolutely imperative to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible- otherwise it would be extremely unstable- especially given the user might be heavy and unable to adjust his or her body to counter the motions of the vehicle in the way an able-bodied person might (plus they'd need to be very well strapped in).
Even in very light unpowered chairs used for wheelchair sports on flat surfaces, the larger wheels are splayed outwards at the bottom to maintain stablility as narrow-tracked chairs would simply tip over sideways otherwise.
As for the speed, 8.5mph is pretty fast for off-road use!
The Hexhog looks to be designed by a bunch of people whose idea of the disabled is that of fragile eggs. A ATV that speeds at a blazing 8.5 miles per hour and at a distance of 12 miles (be still my beating heart) As if disabled are stuck in wheelchairs, they designed the thing as an extension of a wheelchair. I would think that they would design the things on something more meant for speed and with a low center of gravity. In the Star War movie the Clone Wars, one of the Federation Traders rode around in such a contraption; except that it had legs and not wheels. If it is an ATV is should have been designed with the same goals as all ATV's; for fun that goes faster than 8 miles per hour. They may be handicapped; they are not fragile eggs that have to be protected from harm. Get rid of the wheelchair and sling the sucker low for better road experience for the driver.
This device does have a low centre of gravity- look at how it is designed and how heavy it is. And many disabled are stuck in wheelchairs, or have limited ambulation- this is why many such people need wheelchairs- otherwise they could just use adapted quad bikes.
The device is capable of more than 8.5 miles an hour according to the makers- and that is a pretty good speed for the kind of rugged terrain that it is designed for- it is a little slower than an average person cycling on a road, and is about the speed of a fast jogger. On rough terrain, to go much faster would probably be uncomfortable, and in the hands of someone with limited motor skills, eg someone with moderate cerebral palsy (in fact those with CP have a range of cababilities or disabilities depending on the person)- to go much higher could be dangerous if the person was not skilled. Not to mention the obvious- that this device is battery powered- to go faster and further needs more batteries- and traction/ leisure batteries tend to be heavy and bulky.
Its not designed to suit all disabled persons- just some who have the inclination.
When referring to disabled people as 'fragile eggs', it is important to note that some are more fragile than others, and all should be given the opportunity to explore the great outdoors if possible. This product is about liberation, not pidgeonholing. And while you are on your soapbox, I should point out that we don't use the term 'handicapped' any more- the word is a portmanteu of 'hand in cap', meaning literally to beg. The term is both offensive, and thankfully, obsolete in the modern Western World.
I have supported people with varying degrees of physical disability. From a recreational perspective the inability to access environments that the more 'able bodied' people access at ease is the most disabling thing of all, and extremely limits their recreational options. I have never seen anything with such ease of use that mobilises over such rough turrain with such ease, amazing stuff! I really hope this becomes readily available on the UK market…
Way Cool Off Road ATV Wheelchair Ride but at $35-$40 Grand, You can get a Nice Track Chair for Half that price and that is still way expensive!! Nice Toys For Rich People who use chairs. But then again, to get any really nice mobility equipment You have to have money. Money can Buy You everything You need in Life except Your Health!!! It is still a cool ATV, but at $40 grand, I don't ink they will sell alot
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