Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Madras) has launched the country’s first indigenously designed standing wheelchair. The project, in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems, 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 wheelchair ‘Arise’ was launched in the presence of Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot at the institute.
Union Minister Gehlot lauded IIT-Madras for its initiative, and also recalled the Narendra Modi government’s various welfare measures for the ‘divyang’, including setting up five national-level sophisticated sports centres for differently-abled sportspersons in different parts of the country.
According to Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Phoenix Medical Systems, testing partners for ‘Arise’ included NGOs, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, individual users and clinicians who provided inputs.
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The device was designed and developed by the TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2). “Called Arise, the standing wheelchair was designed and developed by the TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras headed by Sujatha Srinivisan in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras,” read the official release.
The project also got support from foreign countries like the United Kingdom. “The commercialisation of the Standing Wheelchair technology was made possible through support from Wellcome, UK, through an ‘Affordable Healthcare in India’ Award, which brought together the research and manufacturing partners,” the release mentioned.