IIT Madras Launches Indigenously-Developed Electric Standing Wheelchair

IIT Madras has developed 'Arise,' a revolutionary wheelchair that helps users stand upright when needed

IIT Madras announced the launch of NeoStand on Wednesday. It is an electric standing wheelchair equipped with indigenous technology and customizable options. Priced at Rs 89,990, this electric wheelchair allows physically disabled individuals to stand and carry out their tasks with ease.

With the newly launched wheelchair, disabled people can reach for a book on a shelf, have coffee while standing at a counter, or maintain eye contact during conversations.

At the event, Ramya, who received the electric standing wheelchair, expressed her gratitude. She stated that she could now stand and help her mother with cooking, which was not possible with her previous wheelchair.

The electric standing wheelchair helps physically challenged people to stand and carry out their desired tasks. (Source: IIT Madras)

The Journey of NeoStand

From concept to a tangible product, NeoStand benefited from the support of a collaborative network. Tata Elxsi sponsored the project as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative.

Prof. Sujatha Srinivasan, Head of the TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras, headed the project development. Furthermore, the professor headed the development of ‘Arise,’ India’s advanced manual standing wheelchair, along with NeoBolt, the country’s first motorized add-on to convert NeoFly, a customizable wheelchair, into a road vehicle. NeoMotion, a start-up incubated at IIT Madras, focuses on wheelchair development.

Importing these chairs is a challenge due to their high costs. Hence, it’s better to manufacture such chairs cost-effectively. Moreover, the institute obtained several patents to produce this product.

The electric standing wheelchair will be manufactured in India rather than imported. (Source: IIT Madras)

NeoStand Features:

  • Adaptable

Customization is a crucial feature of NeoStand’s design, ensuring it can accommodate the specific needs of each user.

  • Electric Standing Mechanism:

Wheelchair users can effortlessly transition between sitting and standing positions with a simple button press.

  • Compact Design:

NeoStand’s compact size enables smooth navigation, even in restricted spaces, improving users’ accessibility.

  • Health Benefits:

NeoStand offers the flexibility to sit for extended periods and comfortably stand as required. It lowers the chances of secondary health issues arising from extended periods of sitting.

  • Cutting-Edge Strategy

With the wheelchair, users can smoothly transition between sitting and standing positions. Also, the added feature allows users to pause at any desired point.

The ability to stand remains out of reach for most wheelchair users. However, standing is integral for improving blood circulation and digestion. It also reduces the risk of health problems like pressure sores and lowered blood circulation.

Wheelchair users generally depend on external assistance, with certain individuals requiring orthotic support. Individuals with severe disabilities and limited upper body strength face a substantial obstacle, making a manual standing wheelchair insufficient.

However, the initiative shows how research at an institute like IIT Madras, guided by its professors, can make a big difference. NeoStand has changed the wheelchair experience, focusing on designs that suit users and giving mobility-challenged individuals more control.