The Exoski is a lightweight, single-passenger electric snowmobile designed to ride across multiple types of snowy terrains. It would feature a heated cockpit, an advanced self-balancing system and a liquid-cooled electric motor. The narrowness of the Exoski would allow the vehicle to easily manoeuvre between trees, making it possible to explore new places.
Narrow snowmobiles equipped with single skis have been designed and manufactured in the past. I always wanted to develop a nimble version of the Ski-Doo Mirage, so I thought why not combine these two ideas while pushing for an electric power pack with lots of torque?
My fondness for enclosed groomers like the Bombardier J5 or the BR-100+ as well as the arrival of new technologies like gyroscopes in power sports vehicles probably drove me to imagine a concept like the Exoski.
How It Works
Using only a single ski, a long track, sensors, and electronics, the Exoski would need to be light and responsive. The engineering team could aim for a dry weight of around 350lbs, which is a third of the mass of the Ski-Doo Elite. The vehicle could draw its power from an electric motor paired to a liquid-cooled Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell or Ion lithium batteries.
To travel across deep snow, the distance between the track and the ski would need to be as small as possible. A gap too large would get the snowmobile stuck on bigger chunks of ice, so the concept should remain as compact as possible. A long track would spread out the pressure at the snow’s surface. The shape of the ski could be made to pre-pack the snow, and the controls (power steering) should allow the snowmobile to make sharp turns.
Obviously, the size and weight of the driver would make a difference in responsiveness, but the most important feature of the design would be the gyroscopic system allowing the Exoski to remain upright even when it’s stopped.
The development cost for a project like this one would probably be over a few million dollars, but the market is evolving, and building a snowmobile with an enclosed cockpit would definitely attract some interest. New technologies and materials are also making it possible to envision such machines and improve their performance (insulation, range, weight, noise level, etc.).
In my opinion, the Exoski would make an ideal machine for weekend rides when it is really freezing outside (like the -20 Celsius without any wind factor temps near my home!). You could take out your Exoski on trails or just uses it to quietly explore the local forest. Of course a convertible version should also be made available later…
The Exoski concept was imagined in July 2017 by Charles Bombardier and designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires. He currently works as freelance designer. He also designed the Phantor surveillance robot for Imaginactive.