IIT-M scientists develop electric standing wheelchair, now available for ₹89,990

The 'NeoStand' promises the users the freedom to sit for prolonged hours and stand comfortably when needed, reducing the risk of secondary health complications.


Published Mar 21, 2024 | 9:24 AMUpdatedMar 21, 2024 | 9:24 AM

NeoStand, the indigenously developed electric standing, enables a physically challenged people to stand and perform their work.

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, have developed NeoStand — an indigenously developed electric standing wheelchair, officials said on Wednesday, 20 March.

Available at ₹89,990, the electric wheelchair enables a wheelchair-bound physically challenged person to stand and perform his or her work.

The project was led by TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development Head Professor Sujatha Srinivasan and her team at the institute.

“Several patents have been secured following the development of this product. Three to four research scholars have worked on this project. I am actually overjoyed on seeing this product as it provides the freedom to do what a wheelchair-borne person intends to do,” IIT Madras Director Professor V Kamakoti told reporters after launching the wheelchair.

He referred to a similar initiative by IIT-M scientists who performed robotic operations to clean septic tanks in residential houses.

“We cannot import these kinds of chairs because of costs. We should therefore produce such chairs which are cost-effective,” he said.

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Freedom to function independently

Ramya, a beneficiary who received the electric standing wheelchair, said she would be able to stand and assist her mother while cooking since the earlier wheelchair did not allow her to stand.

“The most difficult part is I cannot stand when the National Anthem is played at functions. While others stand, I will be sitting as we are using wheelchairs. I am very happy today, as with the use of this electric standing wheelchair I will be able to stand now when the National Anthem is played,” she said.

According to NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Pvt Ltd, Co-Founder, Swostik Dash, NeoStand redefines the wheelchair experience with its user-centric design.

NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Pvt Ltd is an IIT Madras-incubated start-up engaged in the development of wheelchairs among many others.

The ‘NeoStand’ promises the users the freedom to sit for prolonged hours and stand comfortably when needed reducing the risk of secondary health complications. Its compactness ensures easy manoeuverability through tight spaces, enhancing accessibility.

Dash said the cost of a chair is ₹89,990 and the project was sponsored by Bengaluru-headquartered Tata Elxi under its corporate social responsibility initiative. The development and design were spearheaded by the TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras and NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Pvt Ltd.

“Integrating standing function in a wheelchair provides health benefits as well as functional and psychological benefits to the user. With NeoStand, the user just needs to use a switch to move from sitting to standing,” Professor Srinivasan, also a faculty at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said.

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