Wow! IIT Madras launches India's first indigenously-designed ‘Standing Wheelchair' for differently-abled
The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has launched India’s first indigenously-designed ‘Standing Wheelchair.’ The wheelchair has been launched in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems and enables a differently-abled person requiring a wheelchair to shift from sitting to standing position, and vice versa, independently and in a controlled manner.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has launched India’s first indigenously-designed ‘Standing Wheelchair.’ The wheelchair has been launched in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems and enables a differently-abled person requiring a wheelchair to shift from sitting to standing position, and vice versa, independently and in a controlled manner. Called ‘Arise,’ the wheelchair was designed and developed by the TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras.
"In the last five years, I have seen a lot of modern technologies in India and abroad but Have not seen such a good standing wheelchair anywhere in the world. I am very happy and impressed and I congratulate IIT Madras and its partners for coming up with such a nice wheelchair, which is multipurpose and beneficial for health also, besides being cost-effective," said Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
The users of conventional wheelchairs face a lot of difficulties as being in a seated position for long durations can lead to secondary health problems such as poor blood circulation and pressure sores. IIT Madras believes that these problems could be minimised by using standing wheelchairs instead of conventional wheelchairs. Users can, by themselves, use standing wheelchairs to arise from the seated position to a standing position and vice versa.
"The TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development, created with a generous endowment from our Distinguished Alumnus Mr. T. T Jagannathan, has become the research and innovation hub for several affordable assistive technologies, which would otherwise never have been worked upon and delivered. The standing wheelchair ‘Arise’ is one such sterling example. The Centre and Phoenix Medical Systems are to be congratulated for their persistent efforts to make the device user-friendly and affordable," Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said said.
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The wheelchair was designed in three different stages. In the first stage, a hand-operated, linkage-based mechanism was developed to achieve the standing functionality. A proof-of-concept prototype was used to validate the functioning of the standing mechanism. Arise was designed such that the user can actuate it from the sitting position to the standing position and vice versa independently and in a controlled manner. This can be done using the power of the user’s arms.
Testing partners include NGOs, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, individual users and clinicians who provided inputs. Arise was tested by more than 50 people with spinal injuries.
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