How many times have you heard people say that we should all get out of our comfy chairs, and go experience the great outdoors? OK, maybe never, but it's certainly a common sentiment. In the case of the Ziesel, however, you can do both. It's essentially a chair with electric motors, suspension, and caterpillar-type tracks.
The Ziesel (which is German for "ground squirrel") is made by Austria's Mattro Mobility Revolutions, and is designed to travel over all types of terrain. That said, its designers seem particularly stoked about its use on ski hills, for duties such as patrolling, hauling gear or performing rescues.
It has two electric motors that put out a combined 400 Nm (295 ft lb) of torque, and take it up to a top speed of 35 km/h (22 mph). Power comes from a 96-volt lithium-ion battery pack, that has an automatic heating system for use in cold environments. The company tells us that its range will vary greatly depending on use, although one charge of the battery should be good for four to eight hours of continuous driving.
Steering and speed are managed using a single armrest-mounted joystick. The driver is held in place with a four-point harness, and a tubular steel frame offers protection in the event of a rollover.
The Ziesel tips the scales at 210 kg (463 lb), including its battery pack. The base version sells for €21,710 (around US$29,000) plus shipping.
One can be seen frolicking in the snow, in the video below.
[Ed note: We've been informed that Mattro is based out of Austria, not Germany, and have edited this article accordingly]