Let’s Roll

Trick-out your wheelchair with flamethrowers and an ejection seat
by Staff, Utne Reader
March-April 2011
Add to My MSN

Courtesy of Lance Greathouse


Content Tools

Related Content

The Batgirl Miracle Cure Dust-Up

In the new Batgirl storyline, comic heroine Barbara Gordon was cured of her paraplegia. Much of the ...

An Electric Car for Wheelchair Users

Big, expensive converted minivans are the norm in transportation for wheelchair users. Environmental...

The Coming Expansion of the Elderly Population

More than half the babies born since 2000 in France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada, Japan, and the...

When in Russia, Leave Your Smile at Home

Unlike many Americans, Russians don't putting on their happy face for the benefit of strangers. In f...

Engineer and tinkerer Lance Greathouse has worked on life support systems and dental lasers, and he has built fighting robots for the TV shows BattleBots and Robot Wars—all great background experience, it turns out, for building tricked-out custom wheelchairs modeled on military and sci-fi weaponry. His latest, the Dr. Strangelove chair (pictured), incorporates the ejection seat of a B-52 bomber and has two simulated 50-caliber machine guns that run on propane and oxygen.  

“It’s got the look and feel of the real thing, but it’s safe,” says Greathouse. Still, we’d get out of the way if we saw it coming at us.  

Greathouse, whose designs were highlighted in New Mobility magazine (Nov. 2010), started tinkering with wheelchairs when his late brother Brent contracted a rare form of Parkinson’s disease and had to use one. “I wanted to do something to make [wheelchair users] feel like they’re not just using medical equipment,” Greathouse tells Utne Reader, “to make chairs like custom cars so they could feel cool about them.”  

His other designs include a Dr. Evil chair, a tank chair, and a crowd-dazzling flamethrower chair that Greathouse has taken to events such as Maker Faire and, appropriately enough, Burning Man. Learn more at www.greathouselabs.com.

Cover-MA11-thumbnailThis article first appeared in the March-April 2011 issue of Utne Reader.








Post a comment below.

 








Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!