Indian Institute of Technology, IIT, Madras has launched the newly designed standing wheelchair today.  The unveiling of ‘Arise-A Standing Wheelchair’  was done by Shri. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment at IIT Madras Research Park. IIT, Madras in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems has launched India’s first indigenously-designed standing wheelchair.

The standing wheelchair named ‘Arise’ is designed by TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research & Device Development, R2D2. The purpose of this wheelchair is that it will help a person in a wheelchair to stand without any help. “It enables a differently-abled person requiring a wheelchair to shift from sitting to standing position, and vice versa, independently and in a controlled manner,” a release from the university said.

Professor Sujatha Srinivasan, Department of mechanical engineering, IIT Madras who also is the head of R2D2 lab said TOI that, “Using wheelchair all the time can give secondary health issues like lowered blood circulation, sore body, and pressure sores. One needs to stand at least three times a week. But, standing is not possible due to their condition and they need support from other people. The standing wheelchair will cost the same as a normal wheelchair.”

Since 2015, with CSR support from TTK Prestige,the Centre was involved in research related to human movement, influence of orthotic and prosthetic devices on human movement, and the design and development of mechanisms, products and assistive devices for people with impairments, it said.
“Thanks to a novel mass-manufacturable mechanical design…. and Phoenix’s manufacturing capabilities, Arise will be made available at affordable prices,” it said.
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.
The initiative also had the support of Wellcome, an UK-based foundation, the release said.

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