Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras will be launching the country’s first indigenously-designed ‘standing wheelchair’ which enables a differently abled person to shift from sitting to standing position and vice versa, independently.
Sources from IIT Madras on Monday told DT Next that the product will be launched on Tuesday by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot.
With the support for commercialisation from Welcome Trust, an UK based organisation, the product was designed and developed at IIT-M and will be manufactured and marketed by Phoenix Medical Systems, which is founded and run by IIT-M alumnus. According to sources, the wheelchair is self-propelled for day-to-day movement and provide many options and adjustable features, including adjustable seat depth, back angle, knee support, armrest, and footplate position.
Stating that the wheelchair will help any person to stand effectively, which enhances blood circulations and preserves physical health, sources said that the user could control the speed of the chair through a user-friendly joy-stick, which is placed perfectly within reach of any user.
On the rate of the standing wheelchair, “Internationally, the approximate cost is between Rs 9 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. Rate has not been fixed so far. However, it be will much lesser than those imported,” sources said.