IIT Madras researchers develop one-of-a-kind standing wheelchair for people with disabilities

The wheelchair was launched on Tuesday, November 05 at IIT Madras Research Park in the presence of Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, researchers, industry and testing partners, students and faculty

standing wheelchair

  • The three-wheeled chair that costs Rs 15,000 comes is four different sizes depending on the body type and can be customised based on posture, while also being mass manufactured.
  • Arise was designed in such a way that the user can actuate it from the sitting position to the standing position and vice versa using the power of the user’s arms.
  • Besides knee pads, front and back support, adjustable footrests, Arise has an interlocking mechanism, which ensures that the wheelchair remains in a locked state if the knee block is not in position.

IIT-Madras has designed and built India’s first standing wheelchair, named ‘Arise,’ in collaboration with Phoneix Medical Systems, a leading manufacturer of assistive devices and equipment.

standing wheelchair 2

This is a state-of-the-art technology which will help disabled people stand on their own feet.

The standing wheelchair, while expanding the range of movement for disabled individuals, serves the important purpose of minimising health risks for wheelchair-ridden patients.

The health risks associated with extended periods of sitting (and not just for wheelchair users) include cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

The standing wheelchair was designed and developed by the TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2), headed by Sujatha Srinivasan, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Madras.

standing wheelchair 1

The commercialisation of the 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.

Speaking about the importance of this launch, Gehlot said “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,” Gehlot was quoted as saying in the statement.

He said the standing wheelchairs can be provided to the needy through government, constituency development fund of lawmakers and corporate social responsibility fund.

“Arise is a gamechanger,” said Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO, in a video message, adding that she is “delighted at the liberation this device will offer the differently-abled.”