IIT Madras Scientists Develops Electric Standing Wheelchair For Physically Challenged Individuals

IIT Madras Scientists Develops Electric Standing Wheelchair For Physically Challenged Individuals

The electric wheelchair enables a wheelchair-bound physically challenged person to stand and perform his or her work whichever he intends to.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 12:02 PM IST
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IIT Madras | File

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed NeoStand -- an indigenously developed electric standing wheelchair, officials said on Wednesday.

Available at Rs 89,990, the electric wheelchair enables a wheelchair-bound physically challenged person to stand and perform his or her work whichever he intends to.

It may be taking a book from a shelf or having a cup of coffee by standing over the counter or even to maintain eye contact during conversations.

The project was led by TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development Head professor Sujatha Srinivasan and her team at the institute.

Rehabilitation efforts

"Several patents have been secured following the development of this product. Three to four research scholars have worked on this project. I am actually overjoyed on seeing this product as it provides the freedom to do what a wheelchair borne person intends to do," IIT Madras Director Professor V Kamakoti told reporters after launching the wheelchair.

He referred to a similar initiative by IIT-M scientists who performed robotic operation to clean septic tanks in residential houses as currently manual scavengers involved in taking up such works.

"We cannot import these kinds of chairs because of costs. We should therefore produce such chairs which are cost-effective," he said.

Ramya, a beneficiary who received the electric standing wheelchair at an event here, said she would be able to stand and assist her mother while cooking since the earlier wheelchair did not allow her to stand.

"The most difficult part is I cannot stand when the National Anthem is played at functions. While others stand, I will be sitting as we are using wheelchair. I am very happy today, as with the use of this electric standing wheelchair I will be able to stand now when the National Anthem is played," she said.

User-centric design

According to NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Pvt Ltd, Co-Founder, Swostik Dash, NeoStand redefines the wheelchair experience with its user-centric design.

NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Pvt Ltd, is an IIT Madras incubated start-up engaged in development of wheelchairs among many others.

The 'NeoStand' promises the users the freedom to sit for prolonged hours and stand comfortably when needed reducing the risk of secondary health complications. It's compactness ensures easy manoeuvrability through tight spaces, enhancing accessibility.

Dash said the cost of chair is Rs 89,990 and the project was sponsored by Bengaluru-headquartered Tata Elxi under its corporate social responsibility initiative. The development and design were spearheaded by the TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras and NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Pvt Ltd.

"Integrating standing function in a wheelchair provides health benefits as well as functional and psychological benefits to the user. With NeoStand, the user just needs to use a switch to move from sitting to standing," professor Sujatha Srinivasan, also a faculty at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said.

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