Since I introduced my Personal Tracked Vehicle (PTV) and the Mantis, I have had many inquiries asking if these vehicles can be used for people with disabilities. Most often, those inquiring have a friend or family member with a disability that would benefit from increased mobility, and they wish to build one of my vehicles for them using my build plans. It is very nice that there are so many skilled craftsman in our families, church groups, scout groups, trade schools, and neighborhoods who are willing to put forth their building skills and their time to build a vehicle for those in need. Unfortunately, I’ve always had to answer these folks by telling them that these vehicles, although they look ideal for handicap mobility, are not intended for that use. My vehicles are designed for fun, occasional use only. In addition, they are usually gas-powered, so they're not suited for indoor use, and they require a certain amount of strength and agility to ride. For example, the levers on the PTV and Mantis require reasonable arm strength to move back and forth, and this would cause much rider fatigue when used all day. I would point them to several tracked electric wheelchairs on the market today that are designed specifically for their needs, but folks would come back to me time and again with complaints that these are too expensive. I did some investigation and indeed found them to be cost prohibitive for most folks to buy. In my research, the average cost was around $9,000, with some models at $13,000 or more.
I felt there was a real need to be filled in this area, so I conceived The Mobility Assist Vehicle (MAV), and it is currently in the testing stage (prototype photo shown here). I believe I can provide a means for people to have a basic tracked electric wheelchair for half the cost of the average tracked chair on the market. As I continue to develop the prototype MAV and test it, I will of course be able to hone in on a more accurate price. Don’t let my other gas-powered units fool you - I do have experience building tracked electric vehicles, in the fire rescue robot world, and of course The Voltraxx. In true BaumBuilds fashion, I will offer build plans to allow you to build this unit yourself. However, I am going to do things a little different this time, as described below.MAV BT Basic
How will it be possible to provide a tracked electric wheelchair similar in performance to those commercially available at such a dramatically reduced cost?
1.) The design is very basic.
2.) You will provide the labor by building it yourself. You essentially trade your time for your money.
3.) Other companies have to build cost into their price, such as: liability insurance, facility overhead, labor (wages + healthcare), corporate taxes, advertising, of course profit, and the list goes on.
4.) I will offer build kits that will allow you to reduce cost with the more you are willing to build on your own.
With addressing cost above, I am further opening the opportunity for more people to have this chair, by designing the BT Basic to be completely bolted together, with no need for a welder or any other fabrication tools. This reduces the skill set needed to build, thus increasing the number of people who could build it. The frame is a combination of structural tubing and sheet metal. If you can put together IKEA furniture, you will be able to build this wheelchair over a few weekends with just hand tools. The plans will include information such as full descriptions, part numbers, and where to purchase all of the off-the-shelf components and hardware necessary to build (all components other than the frame). The plans will include detailed photos of the frame assembly process, along with complete step by step assembly instructions including exploded views and links to YouTube instructional videos that explain important aspects of the build. The plans will also provide information on the kits I will offer.
The MAV BT Basic will have similar or better performance than the tracked chairs on the market, offering a full 6 inches of ground clearance, as well as a similar battery life and top speed being offered by others. Check back to BaumBuilds.com on occasion for updates and to see the MAV BT Basic official video once created and released. Don’t want to keep checking back? Then simply sign up for my newsletter. Once I am ready to release this product, I will contact you!
Sign up to be notified when the MAV will drop...