With a promise to provide a better quality of life to differently-abled people, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, has designed and developed a unique “standing wheelchair” called “Arise”. This can be a path-breaking innovation as it will let the wheelchair-bound people stand without assistance.
Arise will also help them to counter secondary health problems like poor blood circulation and pressure sores because of being seated for prolonged hours.
Professor Sujatha Srinivasan, who is the department of mechanical engineering and head of TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development at IIT Madras, said, “The thing that prevents people with paraplegia from standing is that they don’t have control over their knees. Our standing wheelchair is designed to support the knees and the upper body and therefore provides a controlled standing. So, the users can lift themselves up because the weight is being taken care of by the wheelchair.”
This unique wheelchair will be handy for people who are paralyzed due to spinal cord injuries or due to some other diseases. Arise will be also useful for those who are already using lower limb prostheses.
Also, the Arise wheelchair can be customized as per the needs of the user. It has several adjustable features and comes in four sizes and can bear weight up to 100 kg.
Arise, the standing wheelchair was designed in three stages. A hand-operated, linkage-based mechanism was developed to achieve its standing functionality in the first stage. The proof-of-concept prototype was then used to validate the functioning of the standing mechanism.
The makers have incorporated it with gas spring that allows the users to stand with very little effort and balance their weight. Also, because of the unique design, the user can stand on the footrest by pulling the two levers on either side of the wheelchair.
While launching the wheelchair, the Union minister of social justice and empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot said to TOI, “I look forward to cooperating with IIT Madras in the future. We will try to provide standing wheelchairs to the needy through the ministry, MLA constituency development and CSR funds.”