Canadian inventor creates the mountain bike of walkers
Chances are that if you think of someone who uses a walker, you picture them sedately making their way down a smooth sidewalk. Well, Rob’s Walkers are for those other walker-users, who like getting into the woods and going off-road.
By Ben Coxworth, New Atlas August 18, 2020
The device was created by Canadian entrepreneur Robert Anaka, after he lost control of his legs due to multiple sclerosis. In order to continue pursuing his passion for nature photography, he built a rugged walker with knobby, pneumatic tires, suitable for use in the back country of Alberta and British Columbia. Now, he builds the things for paying customers.
There are actually two Rob’s Walker models, the FR-120 and the newer FR-160. The former has three 12-inch wheels, while the latter has a 12-incher in front and two 16-inch wheels in the rear. Both versions feature an adjustable-height aluminum frame, dual mechanical disc brakes, a built-in seat for resting, and circular handles that allow for a variety of hand positions.
Additionally on both models, the front section of the frame can be folded beneath the rear, and the wheels can be quickly removed, allowing for easier transit within a car. Robert tells us that the FR-120 weighs 26 lb (11.8 kg), while the FR-160 tips the scales at 28 lb (12.7 kg).
He’s also working on prototypes that incorporate four wheels for added stability, an automatic braking system, and a ski that can replace the front wheel for use on snow. In order to fund that development, he’s launched a Kickstarter campaign, where backers will receive aluminum prints of nature photos that he took while using the walker.
People who wish to actually buy a Rob’s Walker can do so via the company web site. The FR-120 is priced at CAD$1,285 (about US$976), while the FR-160 goes for CAD$1,295 (US$984).
|Based out of Edmonton, Canada, Ben Coxworth has been writing for New Atlas since 2009 and is presently Managing Editor for North America. An experienced freelance writer, he previously obtained an English BA from the University of Saskatchewan, then spent over 20 years working in various markets as a television reporter, producer and news videographer. Ben is particularly interested in scientific innovation, human-powered transportation, and the marine environment.|
Source New Atlas
|Rob’s Walkers. A walk through the woods. Robert Anaka. Youtube Jun 5, 2019|
|Rob’s Walkers. New features. Robert Anaka. Youtube Jan 24, 2020|