The Mantis Personal Tracked Vehicle is a step up in the world of personally tracked vehicles. Where tracked vehicles have taken the lead in moving over varied terrain, the Mantis Personal Tracked Vehicle features something new. It might look like some relative of the Mars Rover, but it is fully terrestrial for Earth. What makes this tracked vehicle different is the four-wheel independent tracks that pivot. It is a game changer because currently tracked personal vehicles use inline tracks that tilt the vehicle if one side encounters an obstacle. The four-wheel independent suspension keeps the vehicle in a more level plain allowing greater stability and more ability to cross great varieties of terrain.
After all, if you want to succeed in one of the most inhospitable places imaginable, head to Mars. Where does the idea to change the world come from? It has to come, at least in part, from the awesome toys that build the imagination. When I was growing up, we had these outstanding model rockets that you could launch using a firework type of propulsion. They are probably outlawed now, but those were the kind of toys that fueled the imagination.
The Mantis Quad Track
While the Mantis Tracked Vehicle has the look of the Curiosity Rover, it is fully functional. The special design includes a customized transmission. One of the better features is the fact that this tracked vehicle has a zero pivot option what allows the vehicle to turn around without the need to make a multi-point turn in tight quarters. One major problem with this vehicle is the low frame support that limits the height, somewhat, of that you can actually drive over. Durability is added into the project through an air-bag suspension that takes a lot of the rough bounce out of traveling over bumpy terrain. The wider platform offers more stability on many surfaces, but may hinder the performance of the vehicle in narrow corridors.
If I had one big critique about this vehicle is that the while it shows the Mantis going over a couple of surfaces, those surfaces are all flat. It works well to climb the wooden border, and it works well in dirt. It even raced along the rocky side of the railroad tracks, but those were all flat. What is not shown nor was there much information about it is the power of the cart or the ability for this creation to conquer hilly terrain. If the path is easy, it looks like the Mantis is king of the road. But what happens when the terrain becomes more challenging?
The Mantis Tracked Vehicle Pros and Cons
- Independent Four wheel track Suspension
- Wider platform
- Comfortable air bag suspension
- Customized Transmission with forward and reverse gearing
- Built it Yourself Kit
- Build plans are cheap at $20
- Gear drive units for wheels are exposed and low enough to get wet, muddy, or obstructed.
- Lack of Stats for engine power, speed, and performance over hills, slopes, and terrain that is wet, muddy, or covered in snow.
While this is an interesting vehicle, and the design is intriguing, I am unsure of how functional this is beyond a cart to take you to fetch the mail. If that is all that you need a cart for, then this is an excellent product. If you need a tracked vehicle that will climb rugged hills and take you to the backcountry then this might not be the vehicle for you. I can certainly see the Mantis in different settings. For instance, it would be perfect for those people who have a lot of walking to do in their jobs. If you need to walk from building to building then this could take a lot of physical activity out of your day.For more outback performance maybe the following… What do you readers think would be the best use for the Mantis?